12/09/2015 2:14PM

Patriotic Diamond faces stiffer challenge in Starlet

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Benoit & Associates
Patriotic Diamond is among five stakes winners expected for Saturday's Grade 1 Starlet..

A week after she would have been favored to win the $100,000 Soviet Problem Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at Los Alamitos, Patriotic Diamond is being given a tougher task in Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet Stakes at the same venue.

The prestige of the Grade 1 Starlet was the deciding factor for owner Kin Hui and trainer Patrick Biancone.

“We decided to take a shot,” Biancone said. “I think it’s a very open race. A week more won’t hurt her. It’s time to see how good she is.”

In a projected field of seven 2-year-old fillies in the Starlet, Patriotic Diamond is one of five stakes winners, but none have won a Grade 1. Patriotic Diamond won the Generous Portion Stakes for California-bred fillies at Del Mar in August and an optional claimer for California-bred fillies there on Nov. 26.

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The Starlet is run at 1 1/16 miles and Biancone said the distance has appeal. Patriotic Diamond is by the Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick.

“She’s bred to go long,” Biancone said. “She’s a bit different because Hat Tricks are better on turf. It’s interesting. We’re coming into the race with a lot of confidence.”

The field includes Pretty N Cool, who won two Grade 2 races for sprinters at Belmont Park and Del Mar, but was last of five in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at seven furlongs at Del Mar on Nov. 15 in her last start.

Other stakes winners in the field are Pacific Heat, Stays in Vegas, and Surfside Tiara. Treasuring and Street Fancy, who were second and third in the Arnaz Stakes, are the other probable starters.