10/07/2011 12:20PM

Fresno: Killer Graces tries two turns, dirt in Soviet Problem


Six 2-year-old fillies, including two-time stakes winner Killer Graces, signed up for Sunday’s $75,000 Soviet Problem Stakes at the Big Fresno Fair, a 1 1/16-mile race that caps a three-race stakes series for juveniles offered by the California Authority of Racing Fairs. The other races in the series were the 5 1/2-furlong Juan Gonzalez at Pleasanton and six-furlong Wine Country Debutante at Santa Rosa.

Killer Graces used a late run to win the Landaluce and Cinderella stakes at Hollywood over the summer. She comes off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, beaten three lengths by Weemissfrankie after encountering traffic trouble. Her Beyer Speed Figure of 70 in that race is the highest of her career. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Killer Graces will be making her first start around two turns and first on dirt.

Coup de Coeur is likely to go to the front. She flashed speed and backed up to finish 10th in the Del Mar Debutante, an effort trainer Jeff Bonde said is not representative of the filly’s ability.

“She had a bad day,” said Bonde.

Coup de Coeur finished third and second in her first two starts, then won a Santa Rosa maiden sprint by 6 1/2 lengths with a Beyer Speed Figure of 77.

Bonde said he thinks Coup de Coeur has a chance to carry her speed the distance in the Soviet Problem and her pedigree shouldn’t stand in her way. Her sire is Exchange Rate, who placed in graded stakes at 2, and later won the Risen Star going two turns. He also won the Grade 2 Tom Fool, a sprint.

“This horse has talent,” Bonde said. “She just hasn’t shown all it yet.”

Real Dream is coming off a second in the seven-furlong Phil Shepherd at Fairplex.

Distant Image is the only runner in the field to capture a route race, having won a one-mile turf race at Golden Gate Fields on Sept. 24.

Indecise is a Pleasant Tap filly trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Russell Baze.