Quick Little Miss Carries Stute's Starlet Hopes

(from Hollywood Park notes)
Trainer Mel Stute will probably never enjoy another year like 1986, but he hopes to duplicate one of its highlights when he sends out Quick Little Miss in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park on Sunday.

Stute, 79, won Eclipse Awards that year with Snow Chief as 3-year-old colt champion and Brave Raj as 2-year-old filly champion. He capped the dream year by saddling Very Subtle to victory in the $535,000 Starlet.

"We ran Brave Raj against the colts in the Hollywood Futurity that year," said Stute of his Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner. She finished fifth as the 17-10 favorite in the $1 million Futurity and set an earnings record in the process. She was beaten by three lengths in a race won by Temperate Sil, who finished a neck in front of Alysheba.

Very Subtle, in a preview of her Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) victory at Hollywood a year later, led all the way as the 19-10 second choice under Patrick Valenzuela. She opened a 2 ½-length lead at the top of the stretch and held on gamely to hold off Sacahuista, the 6-5 favorite, by one-half length.

Stute hopes Quick Little Miss follows Very Subtle to the winner's circle two decades later, but if she does, her style will be very different. She comes from well off the pace, as she did winning the Moccasin Stakes Nov. 19.

"I think Quick Little Miss deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Brave Raj, Very Subtle, and Buffythecenterfold - another nice filly I trained - and I hope she proves it Sunday," said Stute.

"A couple of newsmen have told me they think she is just a late-running sprinter, but I don't think so. I think she can handle a mile and a sixteenth."

Jon Court has the call back on the filly, scheduled to be vanned across town from her Santa Anita base on Friday.

Quick Little Miss is expected to be one of at least six fillies supplemented to the race, with a field of at least ten.

Other probable supplementaries are Romance Is Diane (David Flores), Mystic Soul (Aaron Gryder), Mistical Plan (Corey Nakatani), Down (Alex Solis), and Kentucky invader Baroness Thatcher (TBA).

Probables already nominated are Runway Rosie (Garrett Gomez), She's Included (Victor Espinoza), Super Freaky (Martin Garcia), and Betrluckythangood (Richard Migliore).

Possibles include Tizthen, Hucking Hot, and Back in the Shade.

Mystic Soul, runner-up in the Miesque Stakes on Nov. 25, worked five furlongs in 1:00 4/5 Wednesday for her Cushion Track debut for trainer Jeff Mullins.

Tizthen blew out three furlongs in a bullet :34 3/5 for trainer Bill Currin.