07/10/2010 11:00PM

Tough spot for Belleofthebridle


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The $100,000 Landaluce Stakes on Sunday at Hollywood Park was meant to be a coronation for the fastest 2-year-old filly in California.

Scratch that idea.

Belleofthebridle may still win the six-furlong Landaluce, but only if she overcomes a bad draw, an unfavorable pace scenario, and two worthy opponents - a blazing front-runner and an undefeated closer.

"The whole thing with her is going to be the break," trainer Walther Solis said. "She has enough gas to get of there [post 1] and get position."

A front-runner, Belleofthebridle followed a daylight maiden win April 21 with a big runner-up finish against males in the Willard Proctor Stakes. When she faces her own gender Sunday, she will meet a division fortified by new shooters.

Chief among the new arrivals is speedball Dawnie Macho, who won her June 12 debut at Arlington by five lengths in a track-record 51.16 seconds for 4 1/2 furlongs, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure that towers over the Landaluce field.

Initially trained by Wayne Catalano, Dawnie Macho was sold privately and makes her first start Sunday for trainer John Sadler and owners Gary and Cecil Barber. In her debut, Dawnie Macho broke from post 8, made it to the rail in the first 100 yards, and was never threatened.

The knock on Dawnie Macho is that her maiden rivals were tame. Four have run back and only one hit the board, finishing a distant third. Win or lose Sunday, Dawnie Macho will mix it up early with Belleofthebridle. That could set it up for the best closer in the field.

She'll Heir won her debut at Keeneland and then was sold privately to California-based owners David and Holly Wilson. In her first local start for trainer Vladimir Cerin, She'll Heir overcame a rocky trip to win the Cinderella Stakes by a length with a 60 Beyer.

Her performance was better than the number. She'll Heir was trapped on the turn, buried and blocked into the lane, and still last at the quarter pole. No problem. She bulldozed through traffic, cut loose in the final furlong, and won going away. The trip earned jockey Rafael Bejarano a five-day suspension but no disqualification.

As for the low figure, Cerin admits, "Figures do matter." But he cautioned, "How important are they for 2-year-olds? It's not like they will run the same figure forever."

Other Landaluce starters include Moonstruck Maya, Izshelegal, Michailasheartlite, Swiss Wild Cat, and Hi Ho Yodeler.