12/01/2010 3:28PM

Makoma looks to build on impressive debut


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – A 3-year-old filly owned by Jerry and Ann Moss and trained by John Shirreffs rallied from off the pace to win her debut against sprinters at Hollywood Park. The style of the win suggested there is massive room for improvement.

Sound familiar? Zenyatta did that way back in 2007 at Hollywood Park. Mokoma did the same Oct. 11. That’s about as far as Shirreffs is willing to stretch the comparison.

“History is not going to repeat itself,” he said. “It’s such an extraordinary thing that Zenyatta did.”

Okay, maybe Makoma won’t win her first 19 starts, beat the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Classic the way that Zenyatta did in 2009, and become a fan favorite, but Shirreffs admits there is ample promise with Makoma. The filly makes her second start in an allowance race over 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood Park on Friday.

Bred by the Mosses, Makoma beat maidens over 6 1/2 furlongs by rallying from sixth and winning by 1 1/2 lengths over Lea the Punisher, who has since returned to win a maiden race.

Trying Makoma over a longer distance is no concern to Shirreffs.

“She galloped out like a horse that wants to go two turns,” Shirreffs said. “She really handled herself well.”

Makoma is by Malibu Moon out of the Dixieland Band mare Rhapsodic, who raced for the Mosses and won 4 of 17 starts in a career highlighted by a victory in the Grade 2 Landaluce Stakes in 1993.

In Friday’s race, Makoma has drawn the rail and is part of a field of seven. Mike Smith, who was aboard for the maiden race victory, retains the mount on Makoma, who has by far the fewest number of career starts in the field.

The field includes Queen Martha, who was fourth to Life At Ten in the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 2, but has just two wins in 10 career starts; Downhill Diva, a game second at this level on Nov. 11; and Vision in Gold, who was a fast-closing second here Oct. 27, her first start since June.

Vision in Gold is trained by Ron Ellis for Mace and Samantha Siegel. The filly was fifth in the Grade 3 Railbird Stakes and Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks last spring and is seeking her second career win in her sixth start.