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‘Little Miss is back in good graces

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Times Staff Writer

Quick Little Miss lived up to her name Sunday, charging down the center of the Hollywood Park stretch, overtaking horse after horse and finally winning the $100,000 Moccasin Stakes by a half-length under jockey Jon Court.

“She came from well out of it,” Court said. “It just shows the track’s playing favorably, it’s not biased. She’s a nice filly. We didn’t have the best of trips, but we had a successful trip.”

Quick Little Miss covered the seven furlongs in 1:24.13 and paid $17.20, $4.80 and $3.20 in springing the mild upset. Jump On In finished second under jockey Corey Nakatani and High Cholesterol, ridden by Richard Migliore, was third, another length behind, in the field of seven 2-year-old fillies.

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Trainer Mel Stute had been having second thoughts about Quick Little Miss after she was outclassed in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs in November.

Sunday’s performance restored his faith in the Kentucky-bred filly, which is owned by his wife, Annabelle, and The Hat Ranch.

“I wasted a little money going back east with her,” Mel Stute said. “I’m hoping it was just the post position and the track because I believe she’s something special, I really do.

“She does have that kick and you can use it about any time.”

Quick Little Miss caught Jump On In just before the wire, which brought a smile from Stute.

“I was offered some money for her after the first time she ran, and I turned it down,” he said. “The next time I wish I had taken it because she ran next to last. She’s worth a lot more now.”

The first post was delayed by almost 40 minutes after jockeys questioned the condition of the main track, which in September received an $8-million synthetic surface, the first at a California racetrack.

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Work crews eventually smoothed out the surface to the jockeys’ satisfaction.

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grahame.jones@latimes.com

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