$1.8M Nooni Dazzles on Debut at Santa Anita

June 13, 2024

Nooni romps on debut under Juan Hernandez (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Santa Anita Press Box

ARCADIA, Calif.— It’s onward and upward for high-priced auction buy Nooni following a dazzling debut win going five furlongs Thursday at Santa Anita.

Nooni, a 2-year-old filly by freshman sire Win Win Win, broke like a shot under Juan Hernandez and was never challenged on her way to a 9 ½ length victory for trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing Stables. Nooni covered five furlongs in 58.21 seconds after setting fractions of 22.07 and 45.44 seconds.

Nooni commanded the highest-price when selling for $1.8 million at this year’s OBS March 2-year-olds in training sale. Prior to going through the auction ring, Nooni breezed a quarter mile in a swift 20.1 seconds at the under-tack show.

“At the sale she was pretty spectacular,” Baffert said from the Winner’s Circle. “These young stallions, you never know. Sometimes a freak will come out of the woodwork. I probably never would have bought her as a yearling.”

Nooni had worked eight times since April 21 for her unveiling. She returned $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10 as the 1-5 favorite.

“She’s classy and has a great mind,” Baffert said. “We were able to go on with her right after the sale. Sometimes you have to give them a little break, but when she got here, she hit the ground running.”

Finishing second was She’s My Flame (28-1) with Tiago Pereira up for trainer Steve Knapp. Lee’s Baby Girl, the 3-1 second choice for trainer Doug O’Neill, was another 1 ½ lengths in third under Antonio Fresu.

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