HOLLYWOOD STARLET STAKES | PURSE: $402,000 | GRADE 1 | 2-YEAR-OLD FILLIES | 1 1/16 MILES
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Weemissfrankie will face the smallest field of her career when she starts as a heavy favorite in Saturday's $250,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes, the last Grade 1 race of the year for 2-year-old fillies.
The Starlet drew a field of six, including the stakes winners Charm the Maker, who won the Sharp Cat Stakes on Nov. 13; and Killer Graces, who won two sprint stakes earlier this year. The field also includes Self Preservation, who has finished behind Weemissfrankie in three Grade 1 stakes this year; the maiden race winner Lady Pecan; and the maiden Mi Vida.
Weemissfrankie has won 3 of 4 starts. She had nine rivals when she won a maiden race at Del Mar and won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante at that track during the summer. When Weemissfrankie won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 7, she was favored in a field of eight.
In her only loss, Weemissfrankie was third of 14 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.
Run over 1 1/16 miles, the Starlet field will not include Made to Love Her, a four-length winner of the Moccasin Stakes over seven furlongs on Nov. 20. Trainer Jim Kasparoff said Wednesday that Made to Love Her will make her next start in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Jan. 15.
"We've run her hard," Kasparoff said. "There are a lot of races at Santa Anita."
Made to Love Her has won 2 of 6 starts since early July.
With a small field, Killer Graces could have the lead. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, she finished second to Charm the Maker in the Sharp Cat Stakes, losing by 1 1/4 lengths.
"She surprised us when she made the lead," said Dan Ward, Hollendorfer's assistant. "She ran really well."
With 2 wins in 7 starts, Killer Graces is the most experienced filly in the Starlet field. She has faced Weemissfrankie once, finishing fifth, beaten three lengths, in the Del Mar Debutante.
Asked if Killer Graces could deliver a career-best performance in the Starlet, Ward said, "She could be ready for that."