Blind Luck has Starlet runway to herself

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Blind Luck left trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer nearly speechless with her seven-length win in the Grade 1, $405,250 Hollywood Starlet Stakes on Sunday.

When he watched the replay of her last-to-first move around the final turn and into early stretch, Hollendorfer just shook his head with amazement. "That's very nice," he said.

So is Blind Luck. A maiden claimer at Calder during the summer, who was bought privately by her current connections, Blind Luck displayed the finest performance of her six-race career in the Grade 1 Starlet, reaffirming her position among the leaders in the nation's 2-year-old filly division.

She Be Wild won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita in November, a race in which Blind Luck finished third, beaten three-quarters of a length. After the Starlet, racegoers can eagerly await a rematch in 2010.

Hollendorfer was not the only person stunned by Blind Luck's win. Jockey Rafael Bejarano, riding the filly for the first time in a race, was delighted by her comprehensive win.

"She's always showed me a big kick in the mornings," he said. "I had so much horse. When I asked her a little bit, she showed a big turn of foot."

Bejarano had Blind Luck last of the seven 2-year-old fillies on the backstretch, racing on the inside. When 8-5 favorite Beautician, second in the BC Juvenile Fillies, began to fade from contention on the turn, Bejarano guided Blind Luck closer to the leaders, and swung her to the outside entering the stretch. With a four-wide move, Blind Luck quickly took the lead, turning a one-length advantage at the eighth pole into seven at the wire.

Blind Luck ($5.60) was hand-ridden to the finish. She ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.96.

"I've never seen her like that," Hollendorfer said. "She really got a hold of the track today."

Miss Heather Lee, a 19-1 outsider making her first start in a graded stakes, closed from fourth to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of Amen Hallelujah, who was third in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in October.

Beautician faded to finish last. Jockey Garrett Gomez eased her through the stretch.

"We'll go check on her," trainer Kenneth McPeek said. "We're obviously disappointed."

Blind Luck has won 4 of 6 starts and $709,050. Co-owned by Hollendorfer, Mark DeDomenico, and John Carver, Blind Luck was second in the Grade 1 Darley Debutante at Del Mar in September, and won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita on Oct. 4. She lost the BC Juvenile Fillies by three-quarters of a length.

Hollendorfer hinted that Blind Luck would make her 3-year-old debut in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 6.