10/20/2010 11:43AM

Neon Light makes first start for McLaughlin in Valley View

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Benoit & Associates
In the Slips, from California, is part of a large, puzzling field for Friday's Valley View.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Arguably the best 3-year-old turf fillies in North America ran last weekend in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. Just six days later, the Grade 3 Pin Oak Valley View will be run here Friday as the proverbial little sister to the QE II, and its cast of characters is one to match.

An overflow field of 3-year-old fillies that’s not too bad but not too great has made the $150,000 Valley View something of a puzzler. Several relative unknowns from other circuits are among a sizable core of contenders that ranges from lukewarm favorites to fringe players, including but certainly not limited to, Jenny’s So Great and No Explaining from Canada, In the Slips from California, and Neon Light from New York by way of Germany.

Neon Light, with leading rider Julien Leparoux taking the call, will start from post 12 when making her first start since being privately purchased by Sheila Rosenbloom and transferred into the barn of Kiaran McLaughlin. The filly was a decent seventh in a competitive renewal of the Grade 2 Lake George at Saratoga when making her North American debut while still in the care of Andreas Wohler.

Neon Light was scratched from the recent Pebbles Stakes at Belmont because of a dispute arising from her sale, but McLaughlin said that has been resolved.

“I thought she ran very well in the Lake George,” McLaughlin said. “This is a nice filly, and I like the way she’s trained. Obviously the 12-hole makes it tough, but we’ve got a top jock and hopefully he can work out the right kind of trip.”

As for some of her rivals, Jenny’s So Great and No Explaining both come off sharp efforts at Woodbine, while In the Slips makes her first start for trainer Greg Fox after a nice series of West Coast efforts earlier this year.

Fourteen are entered in this 20th running of the Valley View, although only 12 can start. The 1 1/16-mile turf fixture goes as the ninth of 10 races and is part of a late pick four (races 7-10) that carries a guaranteed pool of $200,000. Two allowances (races 5 and 7) also are carded for Friday.