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CYPRESS, CA – LNJ Foxwoods’ speedy Astute stretches out to her first two-turn test in Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos.
The Starlet is a 1 1/16-mile dirt route restricted to juvenile fillies. This year’s edition is the fifth event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 2:30 PM.
The Starlet is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. The winner will earn 10 points, then 4 for second, 2 for third, and 1 for fourth.
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Here’s a look at the full field for the Starlet:
1. Kalypso / – She’s the first of 3 entries from trainer Bob Baffert, who’s won this event the last 3 years, and brings with her a strong speed presence, especially with her rail draw. She broke her maiden in the Anoakia Stakes last time out but must now stretch out from that 6-furlong sprint, which was the farthest that she has raced to date.
2. Nasreddine / – Her connections supplemented her for $10k, perhaps seeing the competition a bit light as far as achieving blacktype status. She broke her maiden at second asking in a 6-furlong Del Mar sprint last month and is by the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1) champion Nyquist, so stretching out should be no issue.
3. Princess Noor / – The second Baffert runner drops the blinkers here after wearing them in her 4 initial starts, including when suffering her first career defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last time out. She won her 3 prior efforts by open lengths and showed that she can succeed whether setting or stalking the pace.
4. Astute / – After a gate-to-wire debut score over the Santa Anita Park lawn, she proved even more adept on dirt when she trounced her rivals by 7 1/2 lengths in the Desi Arnaz Stakes. The 88 Beyer Speed Figure that she earned that day is the best in this field, but she must now prove that she can handle routing; both her sire and damsire were champion sprinters.
5. Varda / – Baffert’s third entry scratched out of the Desi Arnaz in favor of this event, with her trainer saying she was better suited for routes. Though she won’t be the shortest-priced horse from her own barn (unless Princess Noor scratches), she’ll have Drayden Van Dyke riding. It’s worth noting that each of Baffert’s prior wins in this race came with Van Dyke aboard.
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