12/07/2016 2:16PM

American Gal, Union Strike top probables for Starlet Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
American Gal finishes third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

CYPRESS, Calif. – The $300,000 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Saturday had a field of nine probable starters as of Wednesday morning, an indication of the open nature of the Southern California 2-year-old filly division.

Five projected runners were supplemented to the race for $10,000 – Abel Tasman, Berned, Mopotism, Tapped, and Union Strike. Of those, Union Strike, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 3, is the most prominent. She was sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.

American Gal, third in the BC Juvenile Fillies, is expected to go in the Grade 1 Starlet, which is run at 1 1/16 miles. Other probable starters are Fact of Life, Go On Mary, and Sandy’s Surprise. The most notable absence is the locally based Champagne Room, the upset winner of the BC Juvenile Fillies who is being prepared for a campaign in early 2017 at Santa Anita.

Berned is the lone shipper from out of state. Trained in New York by Tom Albertrani, Berned was a troubled second in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes at a mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 5 in her stakes debut. Berned raced in traffic with a quarter-mile remaining and closed steadily through the stretch to miss by three-quarters of a length.

The Starlet will be the graded stakes debut for Tapped, who won her first start at Santa Anita on Oct. 2 and was second as the 1-5 favorite in the Pike Place Dancer Stakes at a mile at Golden Gate Fields on Oct. 29. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for Larry, Nanci, and Jamie Roth, who race as the LNJ Foxwoods stable, Tapped will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux for the first time.

Tapped was beaten three-quarters of a length by Simmy’s Temple in the Pike Place Dancer.

“She came running and got close to the eventual winner and couldn’t get by,” Hollendorfer said. “She’s a very legitimate filly. She’s been working really well.”

Hollendorfer said he was encouraged by Tapped’s six-furlong work from the gate in 1:13.40 at Los Alamitos on Dec. 2.

Mastery, who won the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes at seven furlongs at Del Mar last month, is part of a projected field of five for Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity at 1 1/16 miles. Mastery is trained by Bob Baffert and is unbeaten in two starts.

Other probable runners are Bobby Abu Dhabi, Dangerfield, Irap, and Show Me Da Lute. Bobby Abu Dhabi and Irap are supplemental entries.