07/17/2013 3:02PM

Del Mar: Sprouts targets second stakes win in CTBA

Shigeki Kikkawa
Sprouts wins the Cinderella at Hollywood Park by 3 1/2 lengths.

This content is part of a free preview of DRF Plus. Click to learn more.

DEL MAR, Calif. – With a stakes win at the Betfair Hollywood Park meeting last month, the diminutive Sprouts has already outgrown expectations for the first months of her 2-year-old season.

“She’d be lucky if she goes 950,” trainer Edward Freeman said. “She’s not big.”

Sprouts is talented. She won the Cinderella Stakes against open company at Hollywood Park on June 15 and can win her second stakes in Friday’s $100,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes for California-breds at Del Mar.

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

The CTBA Stakes is run over 5 1/2 furlongs, the same distance as the Cinderella, which Sprouts won by 3 1/2 lengths, closing from third in a field of six.

“I think she’s going the right way,” Freeman said.

Owned by breeder Paul Reddam, Sprouts starts from the rail in the CTBA Stakes, which drew a field of eight 2-year-old fillies. Sprouts led throughout a maiden race for California-breds over 4 1/2 furlongs May 16, a racing style that could work to her benefit Friday.

DRF Plus Preview

After the Cinderella, Freeman said he did not extensively train Sprouts for a week and began asking her for more effort in her exercise in early July. She worked five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Hollywood Park on July 5.

“She had a pretty solid work the other day,” he said. “I don’t think she’ll ever be big, but she’s starting to fill out a bit.”

The CTBA Stakes field includes five other winners, including Time for Angie and the Reddam-owned Smoove It, trained by Doug O’Neill. Both Sprouts and Smoove It are by the Reddam-owned stallion Square Eddie, who has his first runners on the track this year.

Time for Angie, a maiden race winner May 3, was third in the Cinderella.

Smoove It drew the outside in the CTBA Stakes. In her debut, Smoove It was third behind Harlington’s Rose in a maiden race for California-bred fillies at Hollywood Park on June 8.

Harlington’s Rose was fifth behind Sprouts on May 16, but was found ill after that race, trainer Steve Knapp said. Following her June 8 win, Harlington’s Rose missed 11 days of training because of another illness but has rebounded.

“She got sick for 11 days and missed a work, but I worked her right before she got sick,” Knapp said. “If she takes a step forward, she’s got a chance to win. Absolutely.”