12/09/2011 4:17PM

Hollywood Park: Celestial Kitten points to Frankel Stakes after Spearfish Stakes win

Benoit & Associates
Celestial Kitten (left), under Rafael Bejarano, holds off Whisper Louise to win Thursday’s Spearfish Stakes at Hollywood Park. She is being pointed to the Frankel Stakes on Jan. 1.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Celestial Kitten won her first stakes in Thursday’s Spearfish Stakes at Hollywood Park and will have the fifth chance of her career to win a graded stakes in the $150,000 Robert Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 1.

Owned by Triple B Farms and trained by Ben Cecil, Celestial Kitten, 4, has run in four graded stakes in the past, with her best results second-place finishes in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park in June and the Grade 3 Harold Ramser Handicap at Santa Anita in October.

Her win in the Spearfish Stakes over a mile on turf, a head victory over the fast-closing Whisper Louise, erased the disappointment of a fourth-place finish in an optional claimer over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 18.

“I think a mile and a quarter is too far for her,” Cecil said.

The Grade 2 Frankel Stakes is run over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Celestial Kitten will be part of a talented group of turf female stakes runners for Cecil this winter. He recently added the 5-year-old mare Strawberrydaiquiri to his stable. Previously trained in England by Brian Meehan, Strawberrydiaquiri won the Group 2 Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2010 and was second in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes that year. This year, Strawberrydiaquiri was third in the Sun Chariot at Newmarket, England.

Cecil said earlier this week that Strawberrydiaquiri could start in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Feb. 20.

Stoney Fleece waiting on CashCall Futurity decision

A decision on Stoney Fleece’s participation in Saturday’s $750,000 CashCall Futurity may not be made until entry day on Wednesday, owner Gary Barber said Thursday.

The winner of the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on turf Nov. 27, Stoney Fleece has the option of being entered for the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity over 1 1/16 miles or waiting for the $100,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

Trained by John Sadler, Stoney Fleece would have to be supplemented to the CashCall Futurity for $30,000.

“We’ll see how the field is setting up,” Barber said. “It’s more than likely that we’ll go in the California race at Santa Anita on opening day.”

The CashCall Futurity is expected to have a large field.

The top candidates include Basmati and Longview Drive, the second- and third-place finishes in the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes in Louisiana on Nov. 19; Drill, winner of the Del Mar Futurity in September; Liaison and Rousing Sermon, the first two finishers in the Real Quiet Stakes at Hollywood Park on Nov. 12; and So Brilliant and Brother Francis, the first two finishers of the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes over seven furlongs on Nov. 24.

Trainer Doug O’Neill said Friday that jockey Corey Nakatani will ride Handsome Mike, runner-up to Stoney Fleece in the Generous Stakes; and that Hector Berrios will ride Basmati.