Updated on 09/15/2011 12:25PM

Love at Noon can resume streak


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Love at Noon lost her undefeated status when she finished second in the Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs last month. On Saturday, she can easily start a new winning streak in the $100,000 Princess Stakes at Hollywood Park.

The probable favorite, Love at Noon, is one of six starters in , which is run over 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-old fillies. The Princess was on the schedule of the multiple stakes winner Golden Ballet until she injured a tendon in a workout last week. Without Golden Ballet, the Princess is more wide-open.

The other runners are Affluent, who was second or third behind Golden Ballet in three major stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year; Starrer, the winner of the Santa Paula Stakes at Santa Anita; Little Firefly and Bafferta, who have been stakes-placed; and the longshot Elaine's Angel.

Love at Noon set a track record of 1:14.34 for 6 1/2 furlongs in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on May 5, Kentucky Derby Day. The performance took its toll, trainer Bob Baffert said.

"Her feet were stinging her after that," he said.

In the Grade 3 Dogwood Stakes over 1 1/16 miles, Love at Noon was 1-2. She hopped at the start, and rallied four-wide, but missed catching Nasty Storm by a neck.

"She missed the break and was in a good spot, but she didn't punch it in," Baffert said. "Pat Day said she didn't fire down the stretch."

Love at Noon is one of two mounts for Gary Stevens on Saturday. Stevens sprained a knee last Sunday when a mount bucked during a post parade and has not ridden since.

While questions remain about Love at Noon's effectiveness around two turns, there is little doubt that Affluent, who is trained by Ron McAnally, can win over a distance.

By Affirmed, Affluent was second in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes last January and third behind Golden Ballet in the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks in late winter. She tuned up with a victory in an allowance race over a mile on turf on May 18. A stalker, she should be well-placed chasing probable front-runners Bafferta and Love at Noon.

"I think I have an advantage," McAnally said. "We've been around two turns several times. We ran against Golden Ballet and we're coming off the grass. They say that coming off the grass and going back to the dirt is good. I know it's worked for me a few times."