Princess Noor On the Rebound in Starlet
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
The $300,000 Starlet (G1) is one of the premier races run during the winter meeting at Los Alamitos, and while the 2020 edition has drawn just five, there is a clash of titans on tap.
The Bob Baffert-trained Princess Noor will be looking to rebound as she takes the blinkers off in the 1 1/16-mile race. The daughter of Not This Time was an easy winner of both the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and the Grade 2 Chandelier. She went favored in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), but had to settle for fifth. Returned to California, the $1.35 million purchase should be tough to beat again. Trainer Baffert has won this race in each of the last three years.
Drawn alongside is Astute, unbeaten in two starts and a brilliant winner of the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar last out. The daughter of Speightstown will be ridden by Mike Smith for trainer Richard Mandella. She cruised 7 ½ lengths clear in the Del Mar stakes, and has won on both dirt and turf for owners LNJ Foxwoods.
Astute will be surrounded by Baffert rivals. Varda has drawn outside; the daughter of Distorted Humor was second in the Chandelier. She cost $700,000 earlier this year, and immediately showed promise breaking her maiden at Del Mar by more than three lengths over stablemate Heels Up, who came back to win at Santa Anita next out. Drayden Van Dyck will ride.
The third runner from the Baffert outfit is Kalypso on the rail. The daughter of Brody’s Cause broke her maiden in stakes company at Santa Anita, taking the October 18 Anoakia by 2 ¼ lengths. She has previously just missed in maiden company sprinting at Del Mar. Jockey Abel Cedillo will be up on the $240,000 yearling purchase, who worked a bullet five furlongs on November 30.
Nasreddine completes the field. The daughter of Nyquist – who sired Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Vequist – broke her maiden on November 7 at Del Mar. Michael McCarthy trains the $360,000 yearling purchase, who will be ridden by Tiago Pereira. She was supplemented to this race for $10,000.
The Starlet is one of four stakes race during the upcoming Los Alamitos meet, which also includes the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on December 19. These races regularly produce some of the early favorites for the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Watch daily coverage from Los Alamitos on TVG.
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