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Taste Like Candy gets class test in Hollywood Starlet

  • Starlet hopeful Arethusa won the course-and-distance Sharp Cat by more than eight lengths (Benoit Photos)

It was only a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race, but Taste Like Candy's 6 1/2-length debut win at Santa Anita on October 20 suggested the sky was the limit for the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly. She will have an opportunity to prove herself against a more seasoned group Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Starlet over 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.

Sold for a mere $50,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, Taste Like Candy possesses a pedigree well suited for two turns. Her undefeated sire, Candy Ride, won the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic, while her A.P. Indy dam, a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Affirmed Success, won three times from 1 1/16 miles to 1 1/8 miles.

Among those Taste Like Candy will be tested by are Rosalind and Untapable, both of whom exit the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Rosalind rallied from 16 lengths down to miss by a half-length to Ria Antonia and She's a Tiger in that championship event, an effort that followed placings in the Alcibiades at Keeneland and Pocahontas at Churchill Downs.

Untapable, who won the Pocahontas by a half-length, was already in retreat when she was forced to check to avoid a fallen rival in the Breeders' Cup. The Steve Asmussen charge was virtually eased afterwards, and wound up crossing the wire eighth in the field of 10.

Arethusa enters the Starlet off a dominating 8 1/4-length, maiden-breaking score in the $100,000 Sharp Cat, the November 16 course-and-distance prep. A distant but clear second in the Sharp Cat was Be Proud, one of two from the barn of trainer Bob Baffert. The other is November 15 debut winner Streaming.

The Starlet field is rounded out by Bajan, winner of the $100,000 Moccasin and $75,000 Anoakia in her last two, and Sorrento winner Concave, who followed a troubled trip in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with a third in the Delta Downs Princess two weeks ago for trainer Doug O'Neill.

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