12/06/2011 3:02PM

Hollywood Park: Whisper Louise looks to rebound in Spearfish Stakes

Shigeki Kikkawa
Whisper Louise will return from a two-month break in Thursday's $60,000 Spearfish Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Winless in three starts in this country, Whisper Louise returns to racing after a two-month break in Thursday’s restricted $60,000 Spearfish Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.

Gone, for the moment, are starts in graded stakes. Whisper Louise was second in the Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at Santa Anita in April, but only seventh in the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap at Hollywood Park in June.

Gone, too, is a matchup against All Star Heart, who beat Whisper Louise in the restricted Swingtime Stakes at Santa Anita on Oct. 8 and then won the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap there last month.

Instead, Whisper Louise faces five other 3-year-old fillies in the Spearfish, which is run over a mile on turf. The race is restricted to fillies who have not won a first-place purse of $60,000 at a mile or farther this year.

Whisper Louise races for Three Chimneys Racing. The Spearfish could be her first win since a minor handicap at Doncaster, England, in September 2010.

“She’s pretty sharp right now,” trainer Jim Cassidy said.

Cassidy debated whether to send Whisper Louise to Churchill Downs for the Mrs. Revere Stakes on Nov. 12, but kept her in California after she grabbed a quarter while training in October.

The absence of a win in Whisper Louise’s first three starts has been a frustration for Cassidy.

“She ran super the first time I ran her,” he said of the Providencia. “I ran her back and she was cranked up and showed a little too much speed. She’s been in and out since. She’s coming into the race pretty good shape.”

Two other fillies in the field are stakes-placed this year. True Way of Grace was second in the Beverly Lewis Stakes at Fairplex Park in September. Celestial Kitten was third in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap in July and second in the Grade 3 Harold Ramser Handicap in October, losing both starts to Up In Time.

More recently, Celestial Kitten was fourth as the even-money favorite in an optional claimer over 1 1/4 miles on turf during an evening program Nov. 18, a loss that left trainer Ben Cecil confused.

“I couldn’t find any excuse,” he said. “I wonder if it was the lights, or 1 1/4 miles? I’m not sure. I expected a lot more. We’ll be cutting back to a mile and hoping for a much better effort this week.”