Updated on 09/15/2011 2:37PM

Top spot on the line

Vincent Dusovic/Horsephotos
You came out of her fourth-place finish in the Juvenile Fillies with a fever, but she has trained well for Sunday's Starlet and trainer Bobby Frankel expects a top race.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - With Tempera, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, in Dubai for the winter, there is a vacancy at the top among California's 2-year-old fillies.

The victor of Sunday's $365,000 Hollywood Starlet Stakes, led by Grade 1 winners Habibti, Tali'sluckybusride, and You, should fill that hole.

The Starlet is the year's final major stakes for the division. The winner will be looked upon as a top West Coast challenger for the Kentucky Oaks in May, a race on Tempera's schedule.

Even though there are only five entrants in the Grade 1 Starlet, run over 1 1/16 miles, the field is well-matched. * has not started since winning the Oak Leaf Stakes on Sept. 30.

Those three will be challenged by Renaissance Woman, an impressive maiden winner on Nov. 30 for trainer Simon Bray, and the maiden Talkeetna, who has started once.

You will go favored. Trained by Bobby Frankel, she was the 4-5 favorite in the Juvenile Fillies off victories in the Adirondack and Frizette stakes.

Frankel said You emerged from the Breeders' Cup with an illness, spiking a temperature the day after the race. He noticed something was amiss during the race when she failed to rally, finishing 5 1/2 lengths behind Tempera.

"I had no idea what it was," Frankel said. "I thought it might have been because she was behind horses and she didn't come out running."

Since then, Frankel says, You has trained well, including a six-furlong workout on Dec. 7 in 1:12.60 that was the fourth-fastest of 26 recorded that day at Hollywood Park.

Frankel would prefer that the longshot Talkeetna take an early lead and give You a target.

"I need some pace," Frankel said. "I want to be second [early in the race]. I want to draw outside. I don't want dirt in her face."

Tali'sluckybusride is one filly who has Frankel's respect.

"She could be tough," Frankel said.

Trained by Alfredo Marquez, Tali'sluckybusride has the benefit of a stakes win around two turns in the one-mile Oak Leaf Stakes.

Marquez has no regrets that Tali'sluckybusride did not run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Owners Ron and Susie Anson never seriously considered running her in the Juvenile Fillies, which would have required paying a supplement.

"I like the way she is now," Marquez said. "She's matured a lot. I think they did the right thing."

Marquez will leave strategy to jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. Although she ran on the lead in her maiden win over 5 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 12, Tali'sluckybusride was third in the first quarter-mile of the Oak Leaf, which she won by a convincing 4 1/2 lengths.

"She can rate, anything," Marquez said. "She's versatile if no one wants to go. It depends on Jose. I won't tell him anything. He knows the filly. She has done nothing wrong ever, the sign of a good horse."

Marquez said a brief illness that Tali'sluckybusride had earlier in the fall is behind her.

"It was just a couple of days," he said.

Habibti is making the fourth start of her career, following victories in a maiden race and the Del Mar Debutante and her seventh in the Juvenile Fillies. She had missed the Oak Leaf Stakes due to illness, and then drew the rail in the Juvenile Fillies, which gave jockey Victor Espinoza few choices because she is a closer.

"Victor tried to get her back," trainer Bob Baffert said. "Next thing she was 10 wide and that was the end of that show.

"She's doing good. Pedigree-wise, she should handle going two turns for the first time. It's a tough race with You in there."

Habibti had two bullet workouts over seven furlongs at Santa Anita in the first 10 days of this month.

Talkeetna is the outsider. Trained by Beau Greely, she finished fourth in her career debut on Nov. 23 in a six-furlong race at Hollywood Park.




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