02/11/2016 10:16AM

Cosmic Girl appears to have easier task in Suncoast Stakes

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Leslie Martin/Coglianese Photos
Holders Season (outside) will start in Saturday's Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – Cosmic Girl ran into a budding star when she made her stakes debut at Tampa Bay Downs last month in the $82,500 Gasparilla Stakes, finishing second to the heavily favored R Girls a Charmer, who is now being pointed to graded stakes. That effort makes Cosmic Girl a leading contender in Saturday’s $100,000 Suncoast Stakes, which drew a field of a dozen 3-year-old fillies set to go one mile and 40 yards.

Cosmic Girl, trained by Eoin Harty for Godolphin Racing, won a first-level optional $75,000 claimer by 7 3/4 lengths here Dec. 19. She earned a 73 Beyer Speed Figure for that seven-furlong race, the highest mark in Saturday’s field. In the seven-furlong Gasparilla on Jan. 23, she earned a 72 Beyer while finishing four lengths behind R Girls a Charmer.

“She ran against an extremely good filly,” Harty said. “We weren’t going to beat her. She was much the best, and I was second-best.”

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Cosmic Girl will be running on three weeks’ rest Saturday, which Harty said is less than ideal, but he’s still optimistic about her chances.

“It’s coming back just a tiny bit quick, and she’s had two pretty hard races, but it is what it is,” Harty said. “You’ve got to run them when they put up these races. But that being said, she’s doing really well, and I think the distance will suit her. I think she’s a two-turn filly with a very bright future. I’d be disappointed if she doesn’t run well.”

KEY CONTENDERS

Cosmic Girl, by Street Cry

Last 3 Beyers: 72-73-53

◗ She’s breezed twice since the Gasparilla, including a sharp half-mile in 48.80 seconds on Feb. 1.

Holders Season, by Speightstown

Last 3 Beyers: 55-70-35

◗ She goes for top connections in trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano, who rode her to a maiden special weight victory last out at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 17. She turned in a strong workout Feb. 6 at Palm Beach Downs, going half a mile in 48 seconds.

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Looking At Beauty, by Midshipman

Last 3 Beyers: 61-39-36

◗ She takes a huge step up in class after romping by 16 lengths in hand in a $20,000 maiden-claiming race at this distance Jan. 29.

Smart Shopping, by Smart Strike

Beyer: 65

◗ She’s been idle since winning her career debut in the slop at Churchill Downs in November but has been training impressively at Palm Meadows, with a pair of bullet works in the past month.