February 9, 2023

Faiza heads seven in Starlet

Uncontrollable (left) exits a runner-up to And Tell Me Noilies in the Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita Park © BENOIT PHOTO

An odds-on debut winner on Nov. 12, Faiza will make her first stakes appearance in Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos. She tops a field of seven juvenile fillies in the 1 1/16-mile test.

Faiza will be joined in the starting gate by stablemates Doinitthehardway and Fast and Shiny.

A Road to the Kentucky Oaks qualifier, the Starlet offers points on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale to the top five finishers, but Faiza and her stablemates won’t be eligible for points since trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended by Churchill Downs Inc.

Faiza is from the first crop of sire Girvin, and the bay lass registered a solid 89 Brisnet Speed rating when drawing off to a 3 1/2-length win in her unveiling. Flavien Prat will retain the assignment.

Uncontrollable will bring improving form to her second start against open rivals, rallying to miss by less than a length when second in the Oct. 8 Chandelier (G2) last out. Mike Smith picks up the mount for Michael McCarthy.

Blessed Touch merits respect following a runner-up in the Nov. 19 Desi Arnaz S. The Tim Yakteen-trained daughter of Girvin was no match for the impressive Justique last time, but Blessed Touch wound up 6 1/2 lengths clear of third. She registered a field-best 98 Speed figure when breaking her maiden by open lengths two starts back. Drayden Van Dyke will be up. Pride of the Nile will switch to dirt following back-to-back wins over maiden special weight and entry-level allowance rivals on turf. Juan Hernandez, who also guided Uncontrollable in her last outing, has the return call.

Fast and Shiny will switch back to the main track following a couple of unplaced efforts on turf. Doinitthehardway has placed in her first three starts, but she’s still winless for Baffert. Maiden scorer Classymademoiselle completes the field.