08/10/2012 2:14PM

Del Mar: All Star Heart, City to City eye rebound in Mabee Stakes

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Shigeki Kikkawa
All Star Heart is looking to bounce back in Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif. – All Star Heart and City to City were the last two across the line in the Royal Heroine Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park last time out, yet both mares have a chance to return to their best form at Del Mar on Sunday when they are among six grass runners in an inscrutable running of the Grade 2, $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes.

Both All Star Heart and City to City have done better at Del Mar than Hollywood Park during their careers, and the Hall of Fame trainers of both believe their mares can bounce back. But the Mabee, the championship race of the meet for older female turf horses, has been weakened by attrition in this division in recent months, and handicappers will have to decipher a race in which there is absolutely no discernable pace.

[JOHN C. MABEE: Get PPs, watch full Del Mar card live]

All Star Heart had won three straight races before her uncharacteristically dull effort in the Royal Heroine, in which she finished last of eight as the 8-5 favorite. She has worked four times on the Del Mar turf since then in preparation for the 1 1/8-mile Mabee.

“I don’t know what happened last time,” said Ron McAnally, who trains All Star Heart. “It’s a mystery. She’s training good now, she looks good, she acts good. She’s been pinning her ears at everyone. She’ll run you out of the stall.”

All Star Heart won once in two starts here last summer.

City to City finished seventh in the Royal Heroine, beating only All Star Heart, but she has never finished out of the money in three Del Mar grass races, including a victory over All Star Heart in last summer’s Palomar Handicap.

“We’re thinking she doesn’t like Hollywood at all,” said Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains City to City. “She won here last year. We’re thinking she’s going to run a better race. She’s been training well.”

Cambina and Nereid dead-heated for the win in last year’s American Oaks at Hollywood Park, and are both winless since that race, but are on the improve of late.

Cambina lost a heartbreaker when second by a nose in the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park last time out.

Nereid was fourth in the Royal Heroine, beating All Star Heart and City to City. She will add blinkers for the first time Sunday.

[HOVDEY: Familiar rivals Nereid, Cambina seek breakthrough]

Imperialistic Diva might fall into the lead. She has been wrestled off the pace in her last couple of starts, but Patrick Valenzuela takes over this time and he is known for letting horses run early.

Go Forth North is winless in six races since October 2010, and though she is making her first start since April, she does own two victories over this course.