INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Turbulent Descent has made a smooth ascent to the top of the California 2-year-old filly division this fall.
Saturday, Turbulent Descent stretched her unbeaten streak to three races in her first start around two turns in the $412,250 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Hollywood Park. The style of the win left jockey David Flores delighted at the way she handled her Grade 1 debut and longest race of her career.
Of course, Flores had a lot to do with the outcome, confidently guiding Turbulent Descent to a victory by 1 1/4 lengths over the 37-1 outsider Big Tiz.
"I'm excited," he said. "I can tell what kind of horse she is."
Flores's confidence in the filly soared in the Starlet when he asked Turbulent Descent to rally around pacesetters Nina Fever and May Day Rose on the turn.
"What an acceleration she had," he said. "I waited a little longer to the top of the stretch and I asked her to go again. I just showed her the whip. It was more of a test. She got tired, but she won easily."
Turbulent Descent ($4.20) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.18, much to the delight of the huge partnership that owns the filly and trainer Mike Puype. The victory was Turbulent Descent's second stakes win, preceded by the seven-furlong Moccasin Stakes here last month.
Turbulent Descent was favored in the Starlet on the basis of her win in the Moccasin.
Flores had her well-placed throughout, racing in fourth for the first half-mile while stalking Nina Fever, who set an early pace of 23.55 and 47.14 seconds. Big Tiz raced alongside Turbulent Descent to early stretch but could not keep pace in the stretch. Big Tiz held second, finishing 1 1/4 lengths in front of Tell a Kelly, who won the Grade 1 Darley Debutante over seven furlongs in September, but is winless in three subsequent starts at 1 1/16 miles.
Big Tiz has placed in two stakes over 1 1/16 miles at the meeting, having been third to May Day Rose in the Sharp Cat Stakes on Nov. 7.
"She's still having a little trouble relaxing," said Mark Glatt, who trains Big Tiz. "She was a little tough to rate today. If we can get her to relax, she can be a real serious filly."
Tell a Kelly was followed by May Day Rose, Zazu, True Way of Grace, Nina Fever, and Luna Grande.
Turbulent Descent, who was purchased for $160,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sale of 2-year-olds in training in April, has earned $328,350. She may return in the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes over a mile at Santa Anita on Feb. 5.