06/27/2011 2:01PM

Hollywood's Royal Heroine to mark turf return for Harmonious


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Harmonious, the winner of two Grade 1 races for 3-year-old fillies last year, is expected to make her first start on turf in five months in Monday’s $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile for fillies and mares.

Harmonious worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 at Hollywood Park on Monday under jockey Joel Rosario, her final workout before Monday’s race. Trainer John Shirreffs said it “was very possible” that Harmonious would start in the Royal Heroine.

The 4-year-old filly has not started since finishing third in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes on the main track at Santa Anita in February. Following that race, Shirreffs took her out of training. In January, Harmonious was second by a nose in the Grade 2 Robert Frankel Stakes on turf at Santa Anita.
“She’d had an ambitious end of the year for a 3-year-old filly,” he said. “We had to give her a little time.”

Last year, Harmonious won the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland and was 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs. A return trip to the BC Filly and Mare Turf at Churchill Downs in November is the long-term plan for her.

The Royal Heroine is considered by Shirreffs and owner Marty Wygod as a prep for the $250,000 John Mabee Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 14, a Grade 2 race over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Harmonious is the leading contender in a Royal Heroine field expected to include Andina, Celtic Princess, Givine, Late Cuddle and Wild Mia.
◗ The 3-year-old season of Big Tiz, the runner-up in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes in May, has essentially ended because of an injury. Big Tiz was scratched from the Hollywood Oaks on Saturday morning by trainer Mark Glatt, who did not disclose the nature of the injury.
Glatt said Big Tiz could return to training by the end of the year.