10/03/2012 2:53PM

Santa Anita: In the Stars gets audition for stakes


ARCADIA, Calif. – The Brazilian filly In the Stars was second or third in four group races in that country in the final months of 2011. She could start in races at that level in California next month if she wins a $50,000 allowance race over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Friday.

“We need to get past this one,” trainer Richard Mandella said.

Mandella added that if In the Stars does well Friday, a race such as the $150,000 Goldikova Stakes over a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 or the $250,000 Matriarch Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 25 could be part of her schedule.

“We won’t hold her back,” Mandella said.

Owned by Alessandro Arcangeli, In the Stars is making her second start in California on Friday, having finished third as the favorite in an allowance race at Del Mar on Aug. 5. She rallied wide to lead in the stretch of that race, but was caught late and beaten a neck by Unusual Hottie.

“She ran well the first time,” Mandella said. “I expect a little better this time.

“She seemed to hang a little bit, or maybe she just got outrun. She ran well. I wasn’t really complaining.”

Unusual Hottie was later second in the Solana Beach Handicap at Del Mar.

Friday, In the Stars will be favored in a field that will have a maximum of 10 starters. There were 14 entered.

Mary Fildes, eighth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 18, is part of the field, seeking to end an 11-race losing streak since winning a maiden race at Bath, England, in July 2011.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Mary Fildes was third in an optional claimer in her U.S. debut at Del Mar on July 26. She was third in the Group 3 UAE Oaks in Dubai last February when trained by James Moore.

Callaghan said a cutback in distance after the Del Mar Oaks over 1 1/8 miles will benefit Mary Fildes, who races for Donkey Island Racing. At the same time, he fears In the Stars.

“I think coming back to a mile is a positive thing,” Callaghan said. “I think this is a good spot for her. I think Mandella’s is the filly to beat. She looks like a filly of some potential.”