A field of five juvenile fillies has been entered in the last Road to the Kentucky Oaks points race of 2017, Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos.
The 1 1/16-mile contest attracted both experienced stakes competitors and last-out maiden winners. Dream Tree is one of the former, having captured the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar by a nose on November 18. Just three weeks earlier, the Bob Baffert-trained daughter of Uncle Mo broke her maiden by that same margin in a six-furlong Santa Anita Park contest on November 27.
Drayden Van Dyke was aboard for both those starts and retains the mount as Dream Tree makes her graded bow here.
War Heroine will face winners for the first time in this spot after romping in her maiden debut at Del Mar on November 12. The Peter Miller pupil was never challenged in the 6 1/2-furlong affair and was hand ridden by returning jockey Flavien Prat to the finish.
The Doug O’Neill-trained Piedi Bianchi also broke her maiden at Del Mar, but that came four races back on August 12. Since then the gray daughter of Overanalyze has placed in both the Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Chandelier Stakes (G1). She enters the Starlet off a fifth-placing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) on November 4 and gets a jockey switch to Kyle Frey.
Exuberance earned her first career victory last out on October 13 at Santa Anita Park, rallying to take a one-mile maiden special weight by a drawing off 6 1/4 lengths. Prior to that, the Ian Kruljac pupil was third in a Del Mar maiden and Los Alamitos’ Barretts Debutante Stakes. Tyler Baze held the reins on all three of those occasions and stays aboard in this spot.
Yesterday’s News completes the Starlet field and will break from the far outside post under regular rider Mario Gutierrez. The New Year’s Day filly returns to the main track here after trying turf in her past pair of starts, finishing sixth in the Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita Park and runner-up in a Del Mar allowance/optional claimer. She began her career for trainer Simon Callaghan on the main track, running fourth in her initial two races and breaking her maiden by 1 1/2 lengths going a mile at Del Mar on September 2.