INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Fran's Valentine stamped herself the top filly in the West and a contender for national honors by racing to a head victory in the $160,800 Hollywood Oaks Sunday at Hollywood Park.
In scoring her fifth stakes victory in six starts this year, Fran's Valentine outgained Magnificent Lindy in a protracted stretch dual.
Jockey Chris McCarron put the winner in third place in the early running of the 1 -mile race as Deal Price cut out a swift pace with Wayward Pirate in second position. It was not until the turn for home that McCarron called on Fran's Valentine for speed and she responded gamely.
However, Magnificent Lindy drove alongside under Eddie Delahoussaye and the pair battled for nearly a quarter of a mile before the winner put her head in front at the wire.
Deal Price was nine lengths behind the top pair while Outstandingly was fourth in the field of six.
Fran's Valentine raced the distance in track record time of 1:47.25, tipping a fifth of a second off the mark set by Plenty Conscious last month.
The winner was sent off as the odds-on favorite of the crowd of 39,000 and returned $3, $2.40 and $2.10. Magnificent Lindy paid $3.40 and $2.10 while Deal Price returned $2.10.
The victory brought a purse of $93,300 plus a Breeders Cup award of $27,000 to Earl Scheib of Beverly Hills who bred the daughter of Saros in California.
The purse also boosted Fran's Valentine's career earnings to $696,000. Her earnings could have gone over the $1 million mark, except for her disqualification from first place in the Breeders Cup juvenile race last fall that carried a $1 million purse.
By her victory, Fran's Valentine becomes a challenger to the East's top filly, Mom's Command, for the Eclipse Award.