01/01/2010 12:00AM

Talented mares help Headley reload


ARCADIA, Calif. - In the matter of a few weeks about a year ago, the parade of top horses leaving the Bruce Headley barn, to either retirement, sale, or relocation, was staggering. Arson Squad, Magnificience, Street Boss, and Surf Cat - the four best horses in the barn - all departed.

"We went from everything to nothing," Karen Headley, the top assistant to her father, said Friday morning at Santa Anita.

The new year has dawned with great promise for the Headley barn, though.

"A lot of horses have stepped up to the plate," Headley said.

Batting leadoff, on the unofficial start of the new year, Dec. 26, was M One Rifle, who sped to victory in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes on opening day. Silver Swallow is awaiting the major stakes races for older fillies and mares later this season. And two more Headley mares, Free Flying Soul and Supermodel, could earn their way into the Grade 1, $250,000 Santa Monica Handicap on Jan. 31 if they run well here on Sunday in the $60,000 Kalookan Queen, which goes as the third race on the card.

Free Flying Soul is the more accomplished of the pair. She has won twice in her last three starts, her only loss a third-place finish behind division titans Informed Decision and Ventura in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

"She's really peaking, coming along really well," Headley said. "It looks like the Santa Monica would be next, but we take it one race at a time."

Supermodel won a pair of allowance races at Del Mar before finishing fourth behind Free Flying Soul in the Lou Rowan Stakes during Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting on Oct. 12. She has not raced since.

"She had a little setback after her last race and we brought her back slowly," Headley said. "She's really training well. She would have been in the Breeders' Cup if she had run well that day."

The Kalookan Queen, at 6 1/2 furlongs, drew a field of seven, but there are only six betting interests. Free Flying Soul and Porto Marmay - who is trained by Julio Canani - are both owned by Marsha Naify, so they are coupled.

Other top contenders in the race are High Resolve, who finished second in this race last season and is 7 for 12 lifetime, and U R All That I Am, a former claimer who has won four straight.

High Resolve has not raced since June. Last season, she used the Kalookan Queen as a prep for a victory in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint at Gulfstream Park. This year, that race is at Santa Anita on Jan. 30.

The Sunshine Millions race is also a potential spot for U R All That I Am. She has not raced since capturing the Cat's Cradle at Hollywood Park on Nov. 15.

"There really wasn't anything else for her until now," said Dan Ward, the top assistant to Jerry Hollendorfer, who trains U R All That I Am. "The La Brea was too tough. This race has good spacing to the Sunshine Millions. There's a lot of early speed in this race, which should help us."