Updated on 09/15/2011 1:29PM

Film Critic rates a shot

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Not being the favorite in Friday's $200,000 Miesque Stakes at Hollywood Park may be the best thing that could happen to Film Critic.

In the 11-year history of the one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies, four favorites have succeeded, but none since Antespend in 1995.

The Grade 3 Miesque Stakes can be a difficult race to assess. It brings together fillies from Southern California with relatively unproven turf form against shippers from other parts of the country and European invaders. This year there are fillies that fit all categories.

Of the home team, Film Critic is not without a chance.

Owned by theater chain owner George Krikorian, Film Critic has progressed quickly this fall. By Dynaformer, Film Critic began her career at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, winning a maiden special weight over 6 1/2 furlongs with a late rally on Oct. 7. In the restricted Hidden Light Stakes 12 days later, she finished third in a field of nine despite being steadied in the final quarter-mile.

Despite trailing by seven lengths on the final turn, Film Critic finished just 2 3/4 lengths behind La Martina and was a neck behind Happy Michelle for second.

"She got in a lot of trouble," trainer David Hofmans said. "She got turned sideways at the top of the stretch but came running. She's improved a lot since then."

Garrett Gomez rides Film Critic and is seeking his third win in the Miesque. He won aboard the Bobby Frankel-trained Star's Proud Penny at 33-1 in 1997 and won for the same trainer with 20-1 Fantastic Filly last year.

Film Critic is a closer, which makes her outside post in the field of 11 less of a problem. She will not be in the race until the final turn.

The likely favorites are the entry of La Martina and Stylelistick, a stakes winner at Keeneland. Stylelistick won the Green River Stakes on Oct. 25 in her stakes debut and first start for trainer Bill Mott. Previously, she won a maiden race on turf at Woodbine in late August.

La Martina is trained by Jenine Sahadi and was making her U.S. debut in the Hidden Light. Both fillies are owned by Team Valor Stable and partners.

Another top contender is Riskaverse, who won the Miss Grillo Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 4. Possible upsetters include Lady George, the 15-1 upset winner of the California Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, and Nunatall, the winner of an allowance race in France, who starts for Frankel.

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