Updated on 09/16/2011 8:52AM

Composure hard to look past


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Mike Smith will not soon forget Composure's loss in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Arlington Park in October.

Smith guided Composure to the lead past the heavily favored Storm Flag Flying in midstretch only to see that rival launch a remarkable rally in the final furlong to deny Composure victory by a half-length.

The rematch may not occur until the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in May, and until then all Smith can do is help Composure prepare for her 3-year-old campaign.

On Saturday, Composure returns to racing for the first time since the Breeders' Cup in the $371,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Composure, owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained by Bob Baffert, will be heavily favored to win the second major race of the career. She has six opponents, none of whom is a stakes winner.

The Starlet, run at 1 1/16 miles, serves as a prep to the major stakes of the winter and spring for 3-year-old fillies. For Smith and Composure, who won the Grade 2 Oak Leaf at Santa Anita in October, it is a chance to reaffirm the filly's status as the second-best 2-year-old filly in the nation.

Smith does not second-guess his ride in the Juvenile Fillies, and is still amazed that Composure was beaten.

"Any other race and she wins it," Smith said. "She ran a very big race. It was just one of those rare races. [Storm Flag Flying] jumped back and beat us."

Composure drew the outside post in the Starlet field of seven. Although it is not an ideal draw, it is unlikely to be a problem. Composure is best from a stalking position and can save ground into the first turn.

Composure is likely to be chasing Elloluv, a maiden winner on Nov. 10 who is making her stakes debut, and Watching You, who ran second in the Moccasin Stakes at seven furlongs on Nov. 16. Both have enough speed to lead.

Composure will be joined in midpack by Summer Wind Dancer and Tizalovelylady, the first and third finishers in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

Rmisvesta, a maiden winner on Nov. 7, and Kinzie Woo, who is winless in two starts, are also entered.

Baffert has taken no chances with Composure's preparation. Last week, he shipped Composure from Santa Anita to Hollywood Park to give her a workout over the surface.

"I'm hoping for a big confidence builder," Smith said. "She trained dynamite when she worked there last week. Everything is on go."


Hollywood Starlet

Purse: $371,000, 1 1/16 Miles, grade 1

1Gentle GiantV. Espinoza1138-1
2 Grey MemoM. Smith1172-1
3Fleetstreet DancerT. Baze11215-1
4Nose The TradeD. Flores11220-1
5DauntingJ. Valdivia Jr.11120-1
6EuchreA. Solis118 8-5
7Piensa SonandoL. Pincay Jr.1164-1
8Dig For ItP. Valenzuela11310-1

Odds by Dan Illman

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