Updated on 09/17/2011 9:53AM

History will repeat

Benoit & Associates
Elloluv wins the Santa Ynez, one start after she upset Composure in the Hollywood Starlet.

ARCADIA, Calif. - A budding rivalry resumes Sunday, when 3-year-old fillies Composure and Elloluv meet at Santa Anita in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes. A field of six entered the $200,000 race, which most rational horseplayers will consider a two-horse showdown. This time, logic is due.

Composure and Elloluv fooled bettors the first time they met, Dec. 14 in the Hollywood Starlet. Composure, runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, was deemed a standout at 1-5. Elloluv was only a maiden sprint winner, let loose at 30-1. The result was not even close - Elloluv won by four. It was not a fluke.

"She's proven she's legitimate," Elloluv's trainer, Craig Dollase, said. He's right. Elloluv followed her Starlet romp (94 Beyer) with an equally impressive victory Jan. 20 in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez, her first start at Santa Anita.

"We've got that one-turn race under her," Dollase said, "it was the perfect starting point.

Elloluv, owned by Paul Reddam, has won three straight and will be ridden for the second straight time by Pat Valenzuela. While Dollase recognizes that Composure is a formidable rival, he said: "My filly is a little more nimble, a little quicker. We'll have the jump on [Composure]."

Bob Baffert trains Composure, who won

2 of 6 starts and earned $431,300 last year for owners Bob and Beverly Lewis. Composure may have been compromised by footing in the Starlet at Hollywood Park. "She's a big-footed horse and [jockey] Mike [Smith] said she had hell with the track. She was just spinning."

Smith rides longshot Puxa Saco in the Las Virgenes. He was replaced on Composure by Jerry Bailey. For Composure to win, Baffert said, "she has to be put in the race a little bit. A mile's a little short for her, but she's a good filly."

Fresh and training strongly for her first start start since the Starlet, Composure will be racing over the track where she won the Grade 2 Oak Leaf in October. She followed with runner-up finishes in the Breeders' Cup and Starlet.

But if the Las Virgenes unfolds as expected, Elloluv will be loose on the lead, and that advantage is significant at one mile. Combined with her sharp form, Elloluv is the most likely winner. When Elloluv and Composure meet March 8 in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Anita Oaks, it may be a different story.

for Santa Anita entries.

Subscribers: to purchase Santa Anita past performances.

Non-subscribers: to purchase Santa Anita past performances.