06/06/2009 11:00PM

Left all alone, Carlsbad knows what to do


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The one filly in the field proven to be brave on the lead was left alone on the front of Sunday's $150,000 Hollywood Oaks at Hollywood Park.

For Carlsbad, such a scenario was essentially a head start, and was all she needed to win the first stakes of her six-race career.

"We were hoping that would happen," trainer Jeff Mullins said. "She was very gutty in the last part."

Ridden by Tyler Baze, Carlsbad ($6.20) set a slow pace of 24.26 and 47.86 seconds, and held off a late rush from Lady Lumberjack to win the Grade 2 Oaks by a half-length. Third Dawn, second by a nose to Stardom Bound in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in March, finished third in the field of seven 3-year-old fillies.

Carlsbad ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.59. She led by two lengths in the stretch and was roused in the final furlong to stay in front.

"She's one of those that if they leave her alone, she's fine," Mullins said. "If she feels the pressure, she goes."

Owned by Dennis Weir, Carlsbad has won 6 of 7 starts and $264,126. By Rocky Bar, Carlsbad won three stakes at Turf Paradise last fall and winter and her California debut in the Grade 3 Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita on March 29.

Last month, Carlsbad finished second to Witty in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes at seven furlongs after she had missed training, Mullins said.

"She had a little foot problem," Mullins said. "Something was nagging her, but she worked her way through it."

Of Carlsbad's five stakes wins, two have been around two turns and three have come in sprints. She could make her next start in the $200,000 Azalea Stakes at Calder on July 11, a Grade 2 race at six furlongs for 3-year-old fillies.

"I think she'll do anything," Mullins said.