09/16/2009 11:00PM

If favorite can't, her stablemate can


POMONA, Calif. - Front-runner Unbridled Meeting is favored to win the $50,000 Bustles and Bows Stakes for 2-year-old fillies Friday at Fairplex Park. If she gets beat, blame it on the final half-furlong.

The distance of the Bustles and Bows was lengthened this year from 6 1/2 furlongs to seven furlongs. And though trainer Walther Solis is confident Unbridled Meeting can stay the trip, he entered closer Little Dodger just in case.

"On this kind of track, I don't think it will be too far [for Unbridled Meeting]," Solis said, referring to the five-eighth-mile dirt oval. "Nobody in the race has her kind of speed. She can take the lead and relax."

Given that stakes winner Unbridled Meeting is the controlling speed and the only starter with more than a maiden win, Solis and bettors expect her and jockey David Flores to lead wire to wire.

But while seven furlongs is a furlong beyond anything Unbridled Meeting has attempted, the distance is just right for the Solis's second starter, Little Dodger.

"I left her in the race because of the seven-eighths," Solis said.

Little Dodger is not as accomplished as Unbridled Meeting, but she should have no problem with the distance. In her last start, Little Dodger took a left turn out of the gate in a 6 1/2-furlong race at Del Mar, trailed by 11, flew late and missed by 2 1/2.

Christian Santiago Reyes rides Little Dodger, whose four starts include a $40,000 maiden-claiming win. Unbridled Meeting, meanwhile, has won 2 of 6, including a gate-to-wire stakes victory one start back at Golden Gate.

Unbridled Meeting's weapon is speed, but in her last start, which came at Del Mar, she surrendered the advantage. After breaking on top, she was rated by jockey Joel Rosario. The filly lost interest in the lane and finished last of five. Unbridled Meeting faces softer Friday.

Fairway Road won a $50,000 maiden claimer by 3 3/4 lengths in her only start Aug. 28 at Del Mar; Take a Peak won a low-rated (57 Beyer) special weight Aug. 8 at Santa Rosa; Happyhoofertoo appears to be too slow.

The only filly that could mess up the pace scenario is High Five Gal. She finished second in a creditable debut, then pressed and faded last time in the same race that Unbridled Meeting exits.