Killer Graces turned the tables on Charm the Maker and made
some history with a 14-1 upset in the $402,000 Hollywood Starlet Saturday at
Defeated by 1 ½ lengths when second behind Charm the Maker
in the Sharp Cat Stakes Nov. 13, Killer Graces won the more significant prize,
rallying on the outside to take the Grade I Starlet by a half-length.
In the process, the 2-year-old daughter of Congaree and the
Old Trieste mare Heatherdoesntbluff became only the second filly to win both
the Landaluce and the Starlet. Killer Graces joined Serena’s Song, who
completed the sweep in 1994.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Killer Graces, who is now 3-for-5 over
Cushion Track, ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.09. The win was the second in three
years in the Starlet for Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who scored
with Blind Luck in 2009.
Purchased privately after she finished second – beaten by a
nose – in her May 1 debut, Killer Graces has subsequently won three of seven
for a partnership that includes Hollendorfer, Dan Borislow, Gillian Campbell
and Steve Melen. She’s earned $394,840 in eight career outings. All but $10,000
has come for her current connections.
No worse than second in five starts at Hollywood Park,
Killer Graces paid $30.40, $9.40 and $7.40.
Charm the Maker, the 17-10 second choice in the field of
six, paid $3.60 to place and show. Seeking her third win in four starts for
Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, Charm the Maker sat just off pacesetter –
and eventual third-place finisher – Lady Pecan for most of the trip, but
couldn’t quite match the winner in the final eighth of a mile.
Lady Pecan, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s
representative as he sought a third Starlet victory, finished 1 ½ lengths
behind Charm the Maker. Her show payoff was $6.
The disappointment in the race was 9-10 favorite
Weemissfrankie. Looking for her third Grade I of the year and a sweep of the
three major races in Southern California for
2-year-old fillies, she was last early after a stumbling start. The Del Mar
Debutante and Oak Leaf heroine did make progress in the stretch, but was much
too late. The daughter of Sunriver wound up fourth, three-quarters of a length
back of Lady Pecan and 2 ¾ lengths behind Killer Graces.
Self Preservation, who finished directly behind
Weemissfrankie when fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 4 at
Churchill Downs, was fifth and Mi Vida, a maiden and the longest shot in the
cast at 44-1, was eased in the final quarter of a mile.
“We had an absolutely perfect trip,’’ said Talamo after his
first Starlet win. “I followed (Charm the Maker) the whole way and just kind of
did whatever (Charm the Maker’s jockey Garrett Gomez) did. She really likes this
track. Her only bad races were at Del
“She’s just getting better and better and you can do
anything with her. She’s a really nice filly and I can’t wait until she’s
Rafael Bejarano, who had won two of the previous four
Starlets, bemoaned the break with Weemissfrankie.
“She was standing so good in the gate, but for some reason
she broke really, really bad,’’ said Bejarano. “I was surprised because she
never did that before. All I could do from there was try to stay on the rail.
She tried to get out really bad on the first turn. It was just too much for her
to do. She finished up really well.’’
Bejarano did win twice Saturday, reducing Joel Rosario’s
lead to one (26-25) in the rider’s race. Martin Garcia is next with 22 wins
with six days left in the Autumn meet.