12/10/2011 8:27PM

Hollywood Park: Killer Graces upsets Starlet to confirm fondness for favorite track

The 2-year-old filly Killer Graces (left) launches her rally to win her third stakes of the season at Hollywood Park as a 14-1 outsider in the Hollywood Starlet.

INGLEWOOD, Calif.- Largely forgotten after four consecutive losses in stakes, Killer Graces proved why Hollywood Park is her favorite racetrack with a 14-1 upset in Saturday’s $402,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes.

The Grade 1 Starlet for 2-year-old fillies was Killer Graces’s third stakes win at Hollywood Park this year. She has yet to win a stakes at another venue, having been beaten in races at that level at Del Mar and Fresno earlier this year.

“I think she kind of likes Hollywood,” winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said. “Hopefully we can carry that on to another track.”

Killer Graces was overlooked in the Starlet, which featured the two-time Grade 1 winner Weemissfrankie and Charm the Maker, who beat Killer Graces in the minor Sharp Cat Stakes last month.

They had mixed results.

Weemissfrankie could only finish fourth as the 4-5 favorite after stumbling at the start and trailing by about nine lengths on the backstretch. Charm the Maker was in front of Killer Graces on the turn, but could not keep pace with the winner through the stretch, losing by a half-length.

“She placed herself well,” said Garrett Gomez, who rode Charm the Maker. “I think she ran a better race than she did the other day when she won.

“The filly that won had a turn of foot and I couldn’t quicken, but she stayed on and ran a good race.”

Killer Graces ($30.40) was fourth in the field of six on the backstretch. Ridden by Joe Talamo, she moved closer to the front with a three-wide move on the turn and took the lead before the eighth pole. Killer Graces ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.09.

Lady Pecan, who set a moderate pace of 23.52 and 47.30 seconds, led to early stretch but faded to finish third, two lengths behind the winner. Weemissfrankie closed well to finish fourth, losing by 2 3/4 lengths under jockey Rafael Bejarano.

Trainer Peter Eurton said the stumble did not help Weemissfrankie’s chances.

“I turned my head and she was dead last,” Eurton said. “He waited for them to come back and they weren’t coming back.”

Earlier this year, Weemissfrankie won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf Stakes and was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs last month.

Killer Graces, by Congaree, has won 3 of 8 starts and $394,830. In the summer, she won two sprint stakes at Hollywood Park, the Cinderella and Landaluce Stakes, before a disappointing Del Mar meeting. At that track, she finished sixth in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes and fifth in the Del Mar Debutante.

This fall, Killer Graces has made three starts at 1 1/16 miles, finishing second in the Soviet Problem Stakes at Fresno before the runner-up finish to Charm the Maker in the Sharp Cat Stakes on Nov. 13. In that race, she raced on the rail, but she was outside through the last half-mile of the Starlet.

 “She was caught down on the inside and that didn’t help her much,” Hollendorfer said of the Sharp Cat. “This time, she was clear and that may have helped.”