07/14/2010 11:00PM

Free Flying Soul stepping up again


INGLEWOOD, Calif. − Free Flying Soul has a collection of four stakes wins in her 15-race career. What's missing is a graded stakes win.

The issue could be resolved in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park. The A Gleam will be Free Flying Soul's second start of the meeting, and it comes at an ideal time. She won the Desert Stormer Handicap over six furlongs here June 12 by 1 1/2 lengths.

"She breezed in," trainer Bruce Headley said. "She's getting better with every race."

Owned by Marsha Naify, Free Flying Soul has run in graded stakes with mixed results. She was third behind Informed Decision in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita last November, leading to early stretch. Earlier this year at Santa Anita, she was third in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap and second, beaten a head, in the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap.

Typical of a Headley-trained runner, Free Flying Soul has worked quickly at Santa Anita in recent weeks. She zipped six furlongs in 1:11.40 on July 6 and a half-mile in 47 seconds Tuesday. Both were the quickest works of the morning at those distances.

The A Gleam is run over seven furlongs, which may test Free Flying Soul. She has yet to win in three starts at the distance, but her win in the Desert Stormer was encouraging. Free Flying Soul can adapt to various circumstances, showing the ability to lead or stalk the pace. She will be near the front.

The A Gleam Handicap has drawn a field of six, and Free Flying Soul will be favored. The field includes Moon de French and Sweet August Moon, who were fourth and fifth in the Desert Stormer. Emmy Darling, a stakes winner at this meeting in 2008, makes her first start since a troubled fifth in the Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 31.

Two runners are cutting back in distance, having finished unplaced in races over 1 1/8 miles in June.

Will O Way was fourth behind Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap here June 13. Made for Magic, who won the Grade 2 Milady Handicap here in May, was last of five in the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap behind Rachel

Alexandra at Churchill Downs on June 12.