04/22/2009 11:00PM

Bel Air Sizzle looks way too tough for these

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Benoit & Associates
Heavy favorite Bel Air Sizzle should get sufficient pace to set up her kick in the Fran's Valentine.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The $150,000 Fran's Valentine Stakes at Hollywood Park on Saturday is a foregone conclusion, trainer Barry Abrams said. The track might as well just engrave Bel Air Sizzle's name on the trophy.

"She should win," Abrams said. "She is better than anybody in the race going in. I have no excuses.

"It looks too good. It looks like she'll be 3-5."

Bel Air Sizzle won the Valentine Dancer Handicap in a dead heat with Fran's Valentine entrant Onebadkitty in February and then lost two more stakes by narrow margins. Bel Air Sizzle was third by a neck in the Irish O'Brien Stakes against statebreds on March 15 and a second, by a head, in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap a week later. She is roughly about a half-length from having won her last three starts.

Bel Air Sizzle's flaw is her gate manners. She is prone to a poor start, which Abrams said sometimes can be a help.

"Her three best races were races when she did that," he said. "Maybe it's good for her to drop out of the race."

The style worked in the Valentine Dancer, when Bel Air Sizzle closed from last, but cost her dearly in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap here last June. She was last after a slow start and just missed winning a graded stakes. Bel Air Sizzle has yet to win at that level, but was second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks last August.

A winner of 5 of 19 starts and $457,366, Bel Air Sizzle should have a pace to follow in the Fran's Valentine, a 1 1/16-mile turf race restricted to statebred fillies and mares.

Bootleg Annie, a winner of 12 of 25 starts and a minor stakes winner at Turf Paradise in 2007, and Spinning Yarns, who is making her stakes debut, have shown speed.

You Lift Me Up, who won the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf here last November, has held the early lead in her last two starts, second-place finishes in the Work the Crowd and Yerba Buena stakes at Golden Gate Fields. But she set a slow pace in both races. The tempo is likely to be livelier in the Fran's Valentine.

You Life Me Up lost the Work the Crowd Stakes on the Golden Gate Fields main track to Lady Railrider, a two-time stakes winner who starts in Saturday's B. Thoughtful Stakes.

Onebadkitty was kept away from stakes in the second half of the Santa Anita meeting to prepare for the Fran's Valentine. Trained by Brian Koriner, Onebadkitty is a rare California-bred by Kentucky-based stallion Street Cry.

Onebadkitty has not been worse than third in eight starts. The dead heat with Bel Air Sizzle in the Valentine Dancer was her first stakes win.

"She needed a little rest," Koriner said. "She's kind of a delicate filly, still. She takes some working with and we didn't rush along."