12/05/2012 3:58PM

Hollywood Park: Bayakoa a reasonable spot for Class Included

Barbara D. Livingston
The Bayakoa will be Class Included’s first start on a synthetic track.

Class Included was overmatched when she made her California debut in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. She finished seventh as a 38-1 outsider, 11 1/4 lengths behind Royal Delta.

Class Included will be a more logical contender in her second start in the state, Saturday’s $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park. The Grade 2 Bayakoa has drawn an easier field, and does not include the champions Royal Delta or My Miss Aurelia, the first two finishers in the BC Ladies’ Classic.

Instead, Class Included must beat the 3-year-old Willa B Awesome, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in March but winless in her last four starts; Inglorious, the winner of the 2011 Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine; and the minor stakes winner Lady of Fifty.

The Bayakoa, run over 1 1/16 miles, has an expected field of eight, and is a race that should suit Class Included.

While she was beaten in the Breeders’ Cup, it was a risk worth taking, said Kay Cooper, who trains the filly in California on behalf of her father, trainer Jim Penney.

“The outcome was disappointing,” Cooper said. “She was seventh against the best horses in the world. She got checked pretty hard in the first turn. She’s not used to that. She’s our princess and she’s used to getting her own way.

“She came out of the race in good shape. She was only beaten two lengths for fourth.”

Owned by breeder Michael Feuerborn, Class Included has won 10 of 17 starts and $384,526. At Emerald Downs in Washington and Hastings Park in British Columbia, Class Included has won eight stakes since May 2011. Earlier this year, she won four consecutive stakes from July through early October.

The Bayakoa will be Class Included’s first start on a synthetic track.

To prepare, Class Included was sent to Hollywood Park for a six-furlong workout in 1:13.80 on Nov. 24.

“I thought she handled it really well,” Cooper said.

Cooper is running her father’s 10-horse division as Santa Anita this fall. The team will stay for the winter-spring meeting at Santa Anita, with Class Included likely to run in the major stakes for older females on dirt or turf.

Class Included has never run on turf, which is not offered at Emerald Downs or Hastings Park. She was considered for the Goldikova Stakes on turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 4, but ran instead in the BC Ladies’ Classic.

“I’m kind of excited to put her on the turf down the road,” Cooper said.