05/29/2008 12:00AM

Gamely Stakes Preview

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Monday, May 26, 2008
Hollywood Park - Race 3
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Gamely Stakes (Grade 1)
3-year-olds and upward, fillies and mares
Purse $250,000.

There doesn't seem to be much speed in this short field, and PRECIOUS KITTEN may be allowed to set leisurely fractions. If so, the multiple Grade 1 winner will be very tough to catch. She won the Matriarch over this course and distance to close out her 2007 season, and should move forward off her return run in the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.
You can never write off RUTHERIENNE. She's now won nine of 11 starts including the Jenny Wiley over Rutherienne. She wasn't fazed in the least by the cross-country trip last year when taking the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, and trainer Christophe Clement excels with horses shipping into Southern California for big races. Rutherienne likes to run from off the pace, however, and may be somewhat compromised by the expected moderate pace.
DIAMOND DIVA worked out a nice trip en route to taking the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap here on April 23. She's taking a big step up in class, and the added distance is a bit of a question mark. She does have some tactical speed, however, and may be closest to Precious Kitten early.
LAVENDER SKY was the beaten favorite in the Grade 2 Santa Ana at this distance two back, then flattened out when front bandages were added for the Grade 2 Santa Barbara. SOLVA won the listed La Zanzara Handicap, but the late-runner will be tested for quality in this Grade 1 event.

Selections:
1. Precious Kitten
2. Rutherienne
3. Diamond Diva