Updated on 06/26/2011 10:51AM

Hollywood Park: Plum Pretty stands out in Hollywood Oaks


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Plum Pretty is is a standout in Saturday’s $150,000 Hollywood Oaks field, but she will need to be at her best against two other fillies who have won or placed in Grade 1 stakes.

Zazu won the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in February and was third in the Kentucky Oaks. Big Tiz was second to Turbulent Descent in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes for 2-year-old fillies last fall, which is run over the same 1 1/16 miles on Hollywood Park’s synthetic main track as the Hollywood Oaks.

The Grade 2 Oaks drew a field of just five 3-year-old fillies.

On Monday, Plum Pretty was found to have an elevated temperature, which prevented the Kentucky Oaks winner from shipping to New York for Saturday’s Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park.

By Wednesday, Plum Pretty had recovered from the illness and was entered for the Hollywood Oaks. On Thursday, trainer Bob Baffert cautioned that she may not start. But on Saturday he decided taht she would run.

Love Theway Youare, fourth in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico in her stakes debut last month, and Wallstreeter, who placed in two stakes on turf earlier this year, are the other runners. The Hollywood Oaks was expected to have a larger field, but Nereid and Rumor were not entered and will be pointed to the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap on turf at Del Mar on July 24.

The absence of Rumor, for one, will be acutely felt. She was expected to set the pace, a role that could be inherited by Big Tiz, who was second in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes over seven furlongs May 21 in her first stakes start this year.

With a small field, trainer Mark Glatt is hoping for a slow pace to help Big Tiz’s chances to win her first stakes.

“She would be real tough to beat, if we can get that,” he said.

Big Tiz, who will be ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, starts from the outside post, which will give Valenzuela a chance to assess the strategy of the other runners approaching the first turn.

“It is a short field,” Glatt said. “The presence of Plum Pretty, when it looked like she wouldn’t be running, certainly makes the race tougher.”

Regardless of the pace scenario, Zazu will be a threat from the back.

Trained by John Sadler, Zazu was beaten 2 3/4 lengths by Plum Pretty in the Kentucky Oaks after encountering trouble on the first turn.

“She never really got the trip we hoped, but she ran so well running on late,” Sadler said. “She got beat two lengths, and all things considered, it was an excellent race for her.

“Her form is very steady. She has a [Grade 1] win. I’m hoping we can get another W with her.”