11/15/2012 2:31PM

Laurel: Dirt lovers Los Ojitos and Munnings Sister clash in Safely Kept

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Munnings Sister owns a win going seven furlongs in an overnight stakes at Belmont Park in October.

Los Ojitos and Munnings Sister, a pair of 3-year-old fillies who began their careers running on synthetic and grass surfaces in California, look to continue their success sprinting on dirt when they meet in Saturday’s $125,000 Safely Kept Stakes at Laurel Park.

The seven-furlong Safely Kept drew a field of nine 3-year-old fillies, only two of whom have ever won a stakes.

One is Munnings Sister, who true to her name is a full sibling to the stakes-winning sprinter Munnings, whose career was highlighted by scores in the Grade 3 Woody Stephens at 3 and the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship at 4.

Munnings Sister went 1 for 3 on Tapeta early in her career in Northern California, but flourished when she made her third try on dirt this past June at Pleasanton, where she won the six-furlong California Wine by 4 1/4 lengths, earning a career-best 84 Beyer Speed Figure.

She retained that good form when she came east to join Barclay Tagg’s barn, winning a seven-furlong overnight stakes in October at Belmont. Munnings Sister regressed when Tagg tried to stretch her out to 1 1/16 miles last time out.

Los Ojitos went 0 for 3 to launch her racing career on turf and Cushion Track at Betfair Hollywood Park. She improved dramatically when she came to trainer Nick Canani and sprinted on dirt, winning a high-priced maiden claimer by five lengths at Saratoga and a first-level allowance at Laurel by 5 3/4 lengths. The 90 Beyer that Los Ojitos was awarded for her most recent outing is the best career figure in Saturday’s field.

The seven-furlong distance should also be ideal for locally based Heir Stream and Midwest shipper Holiday Soiree.

Heir Stream, the most lightly raced filly in the field with just five starts, battled up front and gamely finished second in her first try going seven furlongs in a second-level optional $25,000 claimer on Oct. 24. She will be reunited with jockey Elvis Trujillo, who has ridden Heir Stream to both of her previous victories.

Holiday Soiree cuts back to one turn and drops in class after three consecutive two-turn events, including a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 stakes. She won the last two times she raced around one turn, including a seven-furlong race at Churchill Downs.