11/15/2007 12:00AM

Maiden may be best of small lot

EmailINGLEWOOD, Calif. - With Indian Blessing resting on her Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies laurels, Country Star and Grace Anatomy awaiting next month's Hollywood Starlet, and Izarra on holiday until Santa Anita's main winter meeting, the roster of 2-year-old fillies now based on the West Coast has been significantly depleted.

There is no better example than the $100,000 Sharp Cat Stakes on Saturday at Hollywood Park. The 1 1/16-mile Sharp Cat is the major prep for the Grade 1 Starlet on Dec. 15, but this year's version needs an iron supplement, it's so anemic.

Of the five runners entered in the Sharp Cat, only three have won. None has a win around two turns. They are a combined 3 for 16 lifetime.

Befitting the entrants, there is no ideal favorite. The likely choice, Foxy Danseur, has the best form, but she has never tried two turns. The horse with the best two-turn form, Always in Style, is winless in three starts, and her best performance came against statebreds in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Always in Style never has been less than 20-1 in her three starts, but she should be a decidedly shorter price on Saturday, not only because of the small field, but because she is coming off the best race of her life. She finished second to the promising Runforthemoneybaby in the Cal Cup Juvenile Fillies.

That, however, was only two weeks ago, on Nov. 3. It was her first start in two months, since finishing third to Runforthemoneybaby in a maiden race at Del Mar.

"I thought it might be a bit quick back, but it's coming up a small field, she's doing great, and she looks fantastic," said Don Warren, who trains Always in Style. "I thought she ran a very good race last time. I had been pointing to that race, but I wasn't sure she was going to make it.

"She had a little foot trouble, and that caused her to miss a race at Pomona," Warren said, referring to Fairplex Park. "That's why I gave her a good, stiff work just before the Cal Cup."

Always in Style figures to trail early. Her four rivals all are exiting the six-furlong Anoakia Stakes.

The pacesetter should be Czechers, who set a hot pace before fading to fifth in the Anoakia. Foxy Danseur rallied for second in that race. Champagne Eyes was fourth, but that was her debut, so she can improve. Highland Torree was sixth in the Anoakia after breaking poorly.