Starlet Stakes 2018: Odds and analysis for Saturday's race

The Grade 1, $300,000 Starlet Stakes marks the last points-paying 2019 Kentucky Oaks prep of the year. Trainer Bob Baffert won this race for 2-year-old fillies last season with Dream Tree and has the ones to beat in this edition as well. Leading the way is Chasing Yesterday, the half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh, who enters off consecutive stakes wins.

The 1 1/16-mile Starlet runs Saturday at Los Alamitos as Race 7. Post time is 6:28 p.m. ET. A look at the field is below with projected odds: 

1. Vibrance, 3-1 
(Violence – Michael McCarthy/Flavien Prat – 4:1-1-1 – $279,600): Vibrance has been knocking on the door for a graded stakes win, and she stands another good chance to make an impact in this short field. The Louisiana-bred was second in the Chandelier (G1) to the more experienced Bellafina, then finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, 3 ¼ lengths in front of Bellafina. She was on the lead in the Chandelier, but her 5 ¼-length Del Mar maiden score and Breeders’ Cup run came from off the pace. Board hitter.

2. Mother Mother, 5-2 
(Pioneerof the Nile – Bob Baffert/Florent Geroux – 3:2-1-0 – $159,161): Chasing Yesterday’s biggest competition is her stablemate. Mother Mother, another debut winner at Del Mar. She was second in the Del Mar Debutante (G1), missed the Chandelier at Santa Anita with a fever, and rebounded to win Churchill Downs’ Rags to Riches Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion. She’ll likely be near the lead. Win contender.

3. Sold It ,10-1 
(The Factor – Doug O’Neill/Mario Gutierrez – 2:1-0-1 – $37,800): Sold It broke her maiden at five furlongs on the turf during Del Mar’s fall meet. She first debuted in October at Santa Anita, fading to third at 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt. The Starlet will stretch her out quite a bit more from her maiden win, and based on her last two starts, she’ll try to take them all the way setting the pace. Toss.

4. Oxy Lady, 6-1 
(Oxbow – Jack Sisterson/Declan Cannon – 4:2-1-1 – $105,830): The upset Tempted (G3) winner will make her longest trip yet for the Starlet. Based out of Keeneland, Oxy Lady struck out at Belterra Park in early September, winning by 5 ¾ lengths at a mile while leading throughout. She returned to that same distance at Keeneland in allowance optional claiming and finished third in a blanket finish. The Calumet homebred then romped home by five lengths in the Tempted at Aqueduct, beating Godolphin’s Enliven at 36-1. She takes a big step up in company against the Baffert duo. Her last two efforts came from off the pace. Live longshot.

5. Enaya Alrabb, 8-1 
(Uncle Mo – Doug O’Neill/Mike Smith – 2:1-0-0 – $33,600): Enaya Alrabb first raced in August at Del Mar, where she remained mid-pack through the six furlongs and finished fourth. She came back strong in October at Santa Anita and pulled ahead to win by 2 ½ lengths going a mile. She won’t have much farther to run in the Starlet, but she’s taking on some tough fillies for her first stakes attempt. She’ll need a strong kick from off the pace to catch them. Pretender.

6. Chasing Yesterday, 2-1 
(Tapit – Bob Baffert/Drayden Van Dyke – 4:3-0-0 – $144,250): The half-sister to American Pharoah will take her second shot at Grade 1 company. She won her debut at Del Mar before shipping to Saratoga for the Spinaway (G1), but struggled to finish seventh while losing a shoe. Back home in California, she came from off the pace in small fields to win Santa Anita’s Anoakia Stakes and Del Mar’s Desi Arnaz Stakes. The Starlet is her first race past seven furlongs, and it doesn’t appear she’ll have a problem making a move from the outside post. Vulnerable favorite.

Summary
: Baffert’s fillies bring the best resumes to the table with their recent stakes wins, and if both run their best race, it could be an exciting finish with Chasing Yesterday chasing after Mother Mother in the stretch. Among the others, Vibrance has experience against the best 2-year-old fillies in her class, while Oxy Lady took an easier stakes route in New York the same day Vibrance ran in the Breeders’ Cup. Should one of the Baffert fillies not bring their ‘A’ game, Vibrance has a good shot to snag a bigger piece of the Starlet.

 

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