12/05/2012 4:48PM

Hollywood Park: Pure Fun a late arrival for Starlet

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Barbara D. Livingston
The expected field of eight in the Hollywood Starlet is led by Executiveprivilege, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes in September.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Pure Fun will have had a busy week by the time she reaches the starting gate for Saturday’s $500,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes.

The 2-year-old filly was scheduled to be flown from Kentucky to California on Thursday in advance of the Grade 1 Starlet, the last race at that level in the nation for 2-year-old fillies this year. Her last-minute arrival gives the race a starter from outside of California.

Trained by Kenneth McPeek for his family’s Magdalena Farm, Pure Fun deserves a start in the Starlet, having won an allowance race over a mile by 9 1/4 lengths at Churchill Downs on Nov. 24. The allowance race win was Pure Fun’s second in her seventh start, and an indication that she has improved, according to Philip Bauer, McPeek’s assistant.

“I don’t think we’ve seen her best yet,” Bauer said. “She was a slow learner, but you can tell the light bulb has gone on.”

The Grade 1 Starlet is run over 1 1/16 miles, and will be a class test for Pure Fun. The expected field of eight is led by Executiveprivilege, the winner of the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes in September, and the runner-up in the BC Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 2.

“If we finish third or better, it will be worth the trip,” Bauer said, reflecting on the race’s status as a Grade 1.