True Xena Turns in Bullet Work for Starlet

(from Hollywood Park notes)
True Xena, a game second in the Moccasin Stakes in her last start, worked a bullet five furlongs at Santa Anita on Sunday in her final drill for the $250,000 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles next Sunday.

The strapping filly was clocked in :58 3/5. "It was a little faster than I wanted, but Jon said she did it on her own," said trainer Rafael Becerra after the move under jockey Jon Court.

True Xena, a Florida-bred daughter of Yes It's True, won her debut at seven furlongs Oct. 23 at Santa Anita and came back to finish a nose behind unbeaten Private World in the seven-furlong Moccasin Nov. 20 after a spirited stretch duel.

"I think the distance will be perfect for her," said Becerra. "That's why I started with her at seven furlongs instead of six. She's built for two turns."

Stan Fulton, who finished second with Rahy Dolly in the 2003 Starlet, owns True Xena.

Fulton figures prominently in Saturday's Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) with the Eoin Harty-trained A.P. Warrior as well. Like the Starlet, the Futurity is run at 1 1/16 miles.

Fall in Love and Meetmeinthewoods, a pair of California-bred fillies coming off impressive victories at Hollywood Park, both worked over the strip Sunday.

Fall in Love, who remained unbeaten in two starts with a four-length allowance victory Nov. 27, worked seven furlongs in 1:30 1/5 under jockey Tony Farina.

"She worked perfect, very easy," said trainer Jean-Pierre Dupuis after the drill in company. "She doesn't need to work fast."

Meetmeinthewoods, a spectacular winner in her first time out by 5 ½ lengths in 1:08.75 for six furlongs Nov. 27, worked six furlongs in 1:13 for the Doug O'Neill stable.

A field of eight was shaping up for the race: Sharp Cat Stakes winner Balance (Victor Espinoza), Private World (Kent Desormeaux), True Xena (Court), Meetmeinthewoods (Corey Nakatani), Fall in Love (Farina), Diplomat Lady (Tyler Baze), Kentucky invader Sabatini (Garrett Gomez), and Eastern invader Loosends (Patrick Valenzuela).

Loosends, who was flown in Wednesday from New York after two victories in three starts at Delaware Park and Laurel, is scheduled to breeze on Monday, according to trainer Chris Crowe.

Crowe took over the filly's training a week ago after she was purchased privately by Bruce Snipes of Versailles, Ky. Crowe, a Kentucky native who has trained at Keeneland since 1995, recently relocated to Golden Gate Fields for the first time with a 10-horse string.

"She looks like she's a pretty nice filly and I hope she can step up to the challenge," said Crowe, 52, of his first California starter. "We're taking a shot in the dark, but you don't know if you don't try."