12/03/2009 12:00AM

Free Flying Soul sharp after Cup run


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Free Flying Soul finished third to Informed Decision and Ventura in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita last month.

Her next start will be worth considerably less, but trainer Bruce Headley insists that she will not regress in Friday's $50,000 Winter Stakes at Hollywood Park.

"She came out of it real sharp," Headley said of the Breeders' Cup. "She's been working easy and eating everything. She's improving."

Free Flying Soul is part of a field of six in the Winter Stakes, which will be run over six furlongs. The race has drawn four stakes winners - Free Flying Soul, Gadget Queen, Mi Chiamano Mimi, and Reba Is Tops - and two fillies who have run well in recent allowance races and optional claimers, Empressive Lady and Mona de Momma.

Free Flying Soul, owned by Marsha Naify, won the Louis Rowan Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 12, stalking the pace to the turn before winning by two lengths. In the BC Filly and Mare Sprint, she was part of a slow pace, yielded the lead in early stretch, and was beaten 4 1/2 lengths as a 35-1 outsider.

"I thought she ran a great race," Headley said. "She got beat by some seven-eighths fillies. She had a big effort."

Free Flying Soul, 4, has won 3 of 8 starts, with all of her wins coming this year. She made just one start at 3, finishing seventh.

"When they're young horses, they either improve or hit a plateau and stop," Headley said. "She seems too be improving and keeping sound."

Free Flying Soul may not have the early lead. Mi Chiamano Mimi, winner of the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita in October 2008, has ample speed. She won an optional claimer over six furlongs on turf here Nov. 19.

Reba Is Tops will be near the front. The winner of 10 of 20 starts, she won an optional claimer over six furlongs on turf here Nov. 20. Trainer Mark Glatt is banking on her past experience on synthetic tracks to help Reba Is Tops, who has raced exclusively on turf this year.

"It sure is tough for $50,000," Glatt said of the Winter Stakes. "She ran well at Golden Gate on synthetic. I think there are a couple of faster fillies. We'll let them go and sit third."