07/05/2012 2:41PM

Hollywood Park: McAnally expects another big effort from All Star Heart in Royal Heroine

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – All Star Heart closed more than four lengths in the final quarter-mile of the Redondo Beach Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 10, reaching the front with a half-length to spare.

Asked earlier this week if the style of the victory surprised him, trainer Ron McAnally had a quick response. “Not at all,” he said.

McAnally is equally bullish about All Star Heart’s next appearance, in Saturday’s $150,000 Royal Heroine Stakes for fillies and mares on turf.

“I feel good about it,” he said. “I know she’s a good filly and she showed it last time.”

[HOLLYWOOD PARK: Get PPs and watch Saturday’s full card live]

Owned by breeder Gerald Gibbs, All Star Heart will be favored in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine over a mile. She faces a tough field. Of her seven rivals, six are stakes winners. None of those horses, however, has a three-race winning streak like All Star Heart.

A 5-year-old mare, All Star Heart won the restricted Swingtime Stakes and the Grade 2 Las Palmas Stakes at the Santa Anita autumn meeting last fall. She was sidelined by a splint bone injury that kept her out of the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes here last fall and the top races for females on turf at Santa Anita over the winter.

The emphatic win in the Redondo Beach Stakes was All Star Heart’s sixth victory in 16 starts and erased the disappointment of her wintertime layoff.

“She came out of the race in good shape,” McAnally said. “We’re ready.

“As you can see by her performance, she’s special.”

All Star Heart is a closer who should have a pace to follow in the Royal Heroine. Quiet Oasis, the winner of the Grade 3 Wilshire Handicap in April and a game second to Belle Royale in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on May 28, can race near the front. Briecat, a 7-year-old multiple stakes winner, set the pace in the Redondo Beach before fading to finish third.

The other stakes winners in the field are City to City, Mega Dream, Nereid, and Up In Time. Ninth Infantry has won two consecutive optional claimers, one last October and her lone start of 2012, on May 24.

Mega Dream won her first stakes in the Great Lady M over six furlongs on turf on May 27. She has yet to start in a stakes around two turns and could be a factor near the front.

Up In Time won two stakes last year from off the pace – the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar and the Grade 3 Harold Ramser Stakes at Santa Anita. She was a troubled fourth in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park on June 9, racing in traffic on the turn.

“I think she would have been third with a better passage,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “That was against some of the top milers in the country.

“She’s trained very well since that race. I think it’s a closely matched race. I think we’re one of several with a chance.”