Starlet Stakes (Los Alamitos) Predictions, Odds & Picks

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Astute (2/1)

Post Position and Odds – Starlet Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
A Cedilo B Baffert
T J Pereira M McCarthy
V Espinoza B Baffert
4 ASTUTE 2/1
M Smith R Mandella
5 VARDA 6/1
D Van Dyke B Baffert


Best Bets for the Starlet Stakes

Here are my plays ($30 in total)

$20 Exacta – Astute over Princess Noor = $20

$10 Exacta – Astute over Varda = $10

Top Pick:

Astute (2/1)

A $1.35 million 2-year-old in training purchase, Princess Noor will attempt to rebound from a defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies when she tops a field of five-set for Saturday’s Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos.

The daughter of Not This Time previously had romped home a winner in her first three starts, including impressive wins in both the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and the Grade 2 Chandelier Stakes. Princess Noor is one of three fillies in the 1 1/16-mile race trained by Bob Baffert, who has won the race six times, including the last three running. The likely favorite will be joined by stablemates Varda, second in the Chandelier in her most recent start, and Kalypso, who won the Anoakia Stakes last time out.

Standing in the way of Baffert in his attempt to move one closer to the all-time Starlet record of eight wins by D. Wayne Lukas will be the Richard Mandella-trained Astute. A very well thought of LNJ Foxwoods owned filly, she is undefeated in two starts, including an eye catching win in the 6 ½ furlong Desi Arnaz Stakes on November 14.

The $300,000 Starlet will offer 2021 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points on a scale of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers on Saturday.

How to Watch the Starlet Stakes

Starlet Stakes Information
What Starlet Stakes (Grade 1)
Where Los Alamitos
When Saturday, December 5 — 5:28 PM EST
How to Watch TVG
Purse $300,000

Race Analysis

Princess Noor

The preferred runner of the Bob Baffert trained trio, she will run without blinkers for the first time in her career on Saturday. The change of equipment comes after a rather disappointing fifth-place finish as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. That defeat came at Keeneland, but in Southern California she is undefeated in three starts, including two easy victories in graded stakes races. Without the blinkers, look for her to let her stablemate Kalypso do the dirty work early, while she waits to make her move from the middle of the pack. She will take some beating in here as she looks for her second Grade 1 victory, but she may be a vulnerable favorite once again.


The main threat to the favorite has only run twice so far for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, but she has certainly turned heads in those races. A game debut victory on the turf for the daughter of Speightstown was followed by an authoritative victory in her dirt debut which came in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar three weeks ago. While Princess Noor has been the top juvenile filly in the West for months now, the 7 ½-length victories stamped her as a major threat to that throne. She will need to stretch her speed an extra quarter mile on Saturday, and do it against strong competition, but she very well may be talented enough to get the job done.


Bred in New York, this daughter of Distorted Humor brought $700,000 as a 2-year-old in training this April and has done little wrong so far in two starts. After a solid debut win at Del Mar in August, she faced her more experienced stablemate in the Grade 2 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita. She was no match for Princess Noor that afternoon, but she also had less than an ideal trip. While the favorite had a tough trip east, with a little experience under her belt perhaps she can give a better account of herself on Saturday in her second try in stakes company. She is bred to handle the 8 ½ furlong trip.


Baffert’s third entrant in the Starlet might have the earliest speed in the field. After a decent showing in two maiden races, finishing third and then second, she broke her maiden third time out in the Anoakia Stakes. She went wire to wire in that 6-furlong race in October and now will break from the rail as she stretches out in distance. With three of the five fillies in the field not likely to be fighting for the early lead, it appears that the early pacesetter battle will come down to her and Astute. I like Astute better, so my feeling on Kalypso is that she is the least likely of the Baffert trio to be contending for the win late.


The longshot of the field has two career races and has an identical record as Varda with one win and one second. Both of her races came against maidens, and the daughter of Nyquist improved enough from the first performance to come home a 1 ¼-length winner last month at Del Mar. It looks like she will need to show a similar improvement on Saturday to contend with these, but her first two efforts are good enough to consider her as a longshot in the Starlet.

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Useful Betting Guides

Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]