11/27/2012 3:54PM

Hollywood Park: Mamma Kimbo starts winter campaign in tough spot

Barbara D. Livingston
Mamma Kimbo will be making her first start since the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Mamma Kimbo was a tired filly after she finished fourth as the even-money favorite in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimilco in May.

“She lost a lot of weight and didn’t look good,” trainer Bob Baffert said.

Unraced since the Black-Eyed Susan, Mamma Kimbo returns to racing in a $52,000 allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park on Thursday. Baffert considers Mamma Kimbo a candidate for the $300,000 La Brea Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

“She’s training well,” he said. “We’re getting her ready for the La Brea. She should run really well.”

The allowance race for fillies and mares has drawn an excellent field of six, all of whom have won or placed in stakes.

Owned by Peachtree Stable, Mamma Kimbo has won 2 of 3 starts. She beat maidens in her debut over six furlongs at Santa Anita in February and won her stakes debut in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park on April 11.

Mamma Kimbo will need to run well to win Thursday. The field includes Sister Moon, unraced since finishing second as the 1-20 favorite in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes here in May, and Vision in Gold, winner of the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita in 2011.

Sister Moon could start in the La Brea with a big performance Thursday. Trained by John Sadler for Jerry and Ann Moss, Sister Moon has yet to win a stakes, finishing first or second in four starts.

“We gave her some time off after last summer,” Sadler said. “This looks like a tough field. I think we’re all in the same boat. We’re getting ready for the winter.”

Vision in Gold was second in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes over 1 1/16 miles in February in her last start. The same race in 2013 is a goal, making Thursday’s race a prep to two-turn races this winter.

Earlier this year, trainer Ron Ellis gave Vision in Gold her first start after a layoff in a two-turn race, a sixth in the Paseana Handicap. It was a decision he regretted. For this winter’s campaign, Ellis has chosen a sprint, but cautions that it is a prep race.

“I thought I better start her back sprinting,” he said. “She’s not going to be able to sprint with decent horses. We’ll try a different approach. We’re hoping to round into form.”

Three of the runners are stakes winners at Fairplex Park – Candy and Thunder in the Beverly Lewis Stakes at Fairplex Park in September, Candrea in the 2011 Phil Shepherd Stakes, and True Way of Grace in the 2010 Barretts Debutante.