12/16/2006 12:00AM

Contention runs deep in Starlet

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Benoit & Associates
Runway Rosie, winning the Sharp Cat last month, needs sufficient pace to set up her late kick.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Sunday's Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park has drawn a field of 13, seven of whom were supplemented for $20,000. Bettors will feel as if they need about that much money to sort out the trifecta in a tricky race.

The Starlet, which has an estimated purse of $459,250, has drawn five stakes winners - Hucking Hot, Mistical Plan, Quick Little Miss, Romance Is Diane, and Runway Rosie.

The supplemental entries are Baroness Thatcher, Down, Hucking Hot, Mistical Plan, Mystic Soul, Quick Little Miss, and Romance Is Diane.

Runway Rosie and Quick Little Miss have won $100,000 stakes at this meeting. Runway Rosie won the Sharp Cat over 1 1/16 miles on Nov. 5, while Quick Little Miss won the Moccasin over seven furlongs on Nov. 19. They are both closers who must beat the quick Mistical Plan, who is likely to go favored despite starting from post 12.

Runway Rosie, trained by David Hofmans, closed from fifth in the Sharp Cat to win by a half-length. She was not efficient in the final sixteenth as she tried to pull herself up until she got reminders from jockey Garrett Gomez.

To combat that problem, Hofmans has worked Runway Rosie in company.

"I've worked her off horses so she'd run by them," Hofmans said. "Garrett worked her the other day and she went past a horse. She has to improve a little."

Hofmans said he is encouraged that the Starlet appears to have several front-runners.

"I was hoping she'd develop a little more," Hofmans said. "I do like the fact there is pace in the race. There wasn't in her last start."

Quick Little Miss has yet to win beyond seven furlongs. Trained by Mel Stute, Quick Little Miss was third in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Breeders' Cup Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting and was 10th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4. Both races were over 1 1/16 miles.

A repeat of her third-place finish in the Oak Leaf may be enough for Quick Little Miss to win this race, if she can get to Mistical Plan.

Trained by Doug O'Neill, Mistical Plan was a brilliant winner of the Cover Gal Stakes over seven furlongs for California-bred fillies at Santa Anita in October. O'Neill and owner Paul Reddam pre-entered Mistical Plan for the BC Juvenile Fillies. They opted for the Grade 3 Pocahontas Stakes over a mile at Churchill Downs on Oct. 29 when it became apparent that Mistical Plan would not gain a berth in the BC Juvenile Fillies. Mistical Plan finished second after setting the early pace.

Mistical Plan will be a factor from the start from her outside post.

"The main thing we need is to get her to settle," O'Neill said. "I think the outside post is better than the rail. It gives us a chance to use the education that we've taught her. She's a really nice filly that ran a bang-up race at Churchill Downs."

Mistical Plan would have been favored in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita, a race won by Romance Is Diane. Trained by Mike Mitchell, Romance Is Diane is unbeaten in two starts around two turns.

Three fillies made their last start in the Grade 3 Miesque Stakes over a mile on turf on Nov. 25 - runner-up Mystic Soul, and Super Freaky and Hucking Hot, who were fourth and fifth.

The Starlet even has a maiden in Down, a Mr. Greeley filly who was second by a nose at Belmont Park in October. Trained by Bobby Frankel, Down has worked well at Hollywood Park in recent weeks and will be ridden by Alex Solis.

"For him to do that, he thinks a lot of her," Solis said of Frankel entering the filly. "He knows what they're capable of."