Photo: Hollywood Park
Luna Grande, who joined the Kristin Mulhall stable
here Sunday after being purchased privately in Florida for Pennsylvania
owner Jim Hess, is ready for her biggest test in the $300,000 Hollywood
Starlet, a Grade I test for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track
“I was worried about her handling the distance
when we first got her, but after galloping her, I don’t think that will be an
issue,” said Mulhall Thursday after galloping the filly the past two mornings.
“She’s a pretty-moving filly with big strides. We’ll take a hold of her and
make one run.”
Luna Grande drew post four in a field of eight and
will be ridden by Victor Espinoza. The Florida-bred daughter of Mass Media out
of the Fortunate Prospect mare Dream Lady Dream has recorded two firsts and
three seconds in eight starts at Calder. She rallied to win a 5 ½-furlong
allowance race in her last start on November 20.
The only other newcomer in the lineup is speedster
Nina Fever, who has been here for several weeks in the Blake Heap barn after
being sent west from Kentucky
by trainer Wesley Ward. Victorious in five of eight starts--including three of
four on synthetics--Nina Fever will leave from post two with Garrett Gomez.
Rafael Bejarano, who won the race last year aboard
Blind Luck, seeks his third Starlet win in four years aboard Sharp Cat Stakes
winner May Day Rose, who leaves from post three.