McPeek Aiming for Back-to-Back Starlet Wins

by | 12.05.2013 | 5:28pm
Critics Acclaim produced Grade 1 winner Rosalind (pictured)

Trainer Ken McPeek will try for a repeat in the $500,000-guaranteed Hollywood Starlet when he sends out Rosalind against seven opponents Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

A Grade I for 2-year-old fillies, the Starlet is the sixth of nine races while the Bayakoa, a Grade II for older fillies and mares, will go as the eighth.

Both races will be run at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track. Post time Saturday is 12:30 p.m. Track gates will open at 9:55 a.m. for simulcasts.

This will also be the fifth of seven Saturdays during the final Autumn meet with a guaranteed Pick Six pool of $150,000.

If the Pick Six pool exceeds $200,000 on any of the selected Saturdays – which also include Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 – $1 Happy Hour food and drink specials will be offered at Whittingham's Pub and the Betfair Players' Lounge.

Additionally, a single winning ticket – purchased either at Betfair Hollywood Park or through Television Games Network (TVG)- will earn a bonus – a new Prius courtesy of Toyota of Orange.

McPeek, who won the 2012 Starlet with Pure Fun for his family's Magdalena Racing, will try to become the first trainer to win the race in consecutive years since Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.

A winner of the Starlet a record seven times, Lukas won four in a row between 1994-1997 with, respectively, Serena's Song, Cara Rafaela, Sharp Cat and Love Lock.

Owned by Landaluce Educe Stables, Rosalind, a daughter of Broken Vow and the Theatrical mare Critics Acclaim, exits a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

Bred in Kentucky by Hurstland Farm, Inc., James H. Greene, Jr. and Pin Oak Stud, Rosalind rallied from last in the field of 10 to be defeated by only a half-length. She's a Tiger crossed the wire first in the Juvenile Fillies, but was disqualified and placed second behind longshot Ria Antonia.

Prior to her trip to California, Rosalind had gone 1-for-3 in Kentucky. The chestnut broke her maiden by 2 ½ lengths in her Aug. 2 debut at Ellis Park, then was third in the Grade II Pocahontas Sept. 7 at Churchill Downs and second in the Grade I Alcibiades Oct. 4 over the Polytrack at Keeneland.

Purchased for $70,000 as a yearling in July, 2012, Rosalind has earned $314,011 in her four starts.

Untapable also exits the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies for owner-breeder Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and trainer Steve Asmussen, but she was eased under jockey Rosie Napravnik.

Before the troubled journey, the Tapit filly out of the Prized mare Fun House had begun her career with two victories at Churchill Downs. Untapable defeated maidens by one length June 20, then won the Pocahontas by a half-length. She's earned $128,125.

Bajan will make her first start beyond seven furlongs for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Ronald Frankel after her victory in the Moccasin Stakes Nov. 9.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, the daughter of Speightstown and the Aptitude mare Critikal Reason has won three of five and earned $159,150.

The only filly to win the Moccasin and Hollywood Starlet is Turbulent Descent, who completed the double in 2010.

Arethusa earned her maiden victory by a record 8 ¼ lengths in the Sharp Cat Stakes Nov. 16.

Owned and bred by Darley Stable and trained by Eoin Harty, the late-running daughter of A.P. Indy has started four times. Out of the Coronado's Quest mare Miss Coronado, she's banked $75,610.

Concave returns from Louisiana for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O'Neill after finishing third in the Grade III Delta Princess Nov. 23 at Delta Downs.

A daughter of Colonel John and the Ascot Knight mare Galadriel, Concave has won twice in five starts and earned $207,200. She broke her maiden over the Betfair Hollywood Park turf in her career debut July 12.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert will seek his third Starlet victory when he saddles Sharp Cat runner-up Be Proud and debut winner Streaming.

A Proud Citizen filly out of the Wild Again mare Wild and Proud, Be Proud has won once in six starts and earned $87,400 for owners Patti and Hal Earnhardt III.

Owned by John G. Sikura's Hill `n' dale Equine Holdings, Inc. and Edward McGhee, Streaming, a daughter of Smart Strike and the Storm Cat mare Teeming, won by 1 ½ lengths Nov. 15. The victory in the race at six furlongs over Cushion Track was worth $27,000.

Baffert's wins in the Starlet came with Excellent Meeting (1998) and Habibti (2001).

Jerry Hollendorfer, another Hall of Fame trainer, will be searching for his third win in five years – Blind Luck (2009) and Killer Graces (2011) – when he sends out Taste Like Candy.

Owned by Bad Boy Racing LLC and Whizway Farms, Taste Like Candy won by 6 ½ lengths in her debut going 5 ½ furlongs Oct. 20 at Santa Anita.

The daughter of Candy Ride and the A.P. Indy mare My Success earned $28,800 for the blowout victory.

From inside out, the field for the 33rd Hollywood Starlet: Concave, Mario Gutierrez rides, 120 pounds; Taste Like Candy, Rafael Bejarano, 120; Be Proud, Edwin Maldonado, 120; Bajan, Victor Espinoza, 120; Untapable, Joe Talamo, 120; Arethusa, Corey Nakatani, 120; Streaming, Martin Garcia, 120 and Rosalind, Joel Rosario, 120.

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