07/26/2012 2:58PM

Columbus: Hannahslittleangel has slight edge in Inaugural


Hannahslittleangel should be a slight favorite when she takes on six other 3-year-old fillies in the $10,000-added Inaugural Stakes, a six-furlong race that opens the stakes schedule at Columbus’ Ag Park on Saturday.

Hannahslittleangel won the Princess Stakes at Lincoln Race Course on May 12 and faced much tougher older fillies and mares in optional claiming company in her two starts since, finishing fifth and fourth.

A return to her age group should give her an edge in this spot for trainer Chuck Turco. Hannahslittleangel has three wins from her 11 career starts, including two in the state this year.

Turco will also send out Afleet Lea as part of an uncoupled entry. She comes into the race off an entry-level allowance win at Lincoln going a mile July 7. Chris Fackler will ride Hannahslittleangel, and Jake Olesiak will ride Afleet Lea.

The strongest challenge should come from U Little Devil U, who has two wins this year and has not finished worse than third in her six starts this year. She comes into the race off a 6 3/4-length win against entry-level allowance company at Lincoln on July 8. She was a strong third in the Princess Stakes, beaten a length, and is more than eligible to capture the win here. Karlo Lopez has the mount.

Trophy Club, trained by Tim Muckey, was second to the top 3-year-old running in Nebraska when she faced Diamond Joe in the Lincoln Derby on June 23. She was beaten 9 3/4 lengths that day when stepping in against the boys and going a mile for the first time but deserves consideration in this spot. Diamond Joe has won seven straight races while dominating the 3-year-old division this year.