ARCADIA, Calif.—Idle since winning the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Nov. 7 at Keeneland, Bob Baffert’s brilliant 4-year-old filly Gamine towers over her competition going six furlongs in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita.
Supplemented at a cost of $2,000, owner Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine will face three rival fillies and mares in what will be her first start at Santa Anita since she aired by 6 ¼ lengths in her 6 ½ furlong debut on March 7, 2020. A winner of both the Grade I Acorn Stakes going a one turn mile at Belmont Park on June 20 and the Grade I Test Stakes going seven furlongs at Saratoga Aug. 8, Gamine, who was purchased for $1.8 million at the Fasig Tipton Mid Atlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale in May, 2019, has four wins from six starts with earnings of $883,000.
A disappointing third and subsequently disqualified to last in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks Sept. 4, Gamine and John Velazquez bounced back with a huge effort in a return to sprinting, as she sat second turning for home en route to a 6 ¼ length score as the even money favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
With Velazquez set to ride for the fifth consecutive time, Gamine has been favored in all six of her starts—five of them as the odds-on choice. By Into Mischief out of Peggy Jane, by Kafwain, Gamine is a brilliant talent that will no doubt be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup in November at Del Mar.
While Gamine lacks recency, her talented stablemate Qahira, who will be making her third start of the meet, does not and sheis the clear-cut second choice. A winner of the 6 ½ furlong Kalookan Queen Stakes Jan. 10, she was subsequently third, beaten 4 ½ lengths by Baffert’s Merneith in the Grade II Santa Monica going seven furlongs on Feb. 13.
Owned by Baoma Corporation, Qahira has been ridden in her last two starts by the now-departed Joel Rosario, so Flavien Prat has the call on Sunday. A close third going 6 ½ furlongs three starts back in the Grade III Chillingworth Stakes here on Sept. 25, Qahira, a 5-year-old mare by Cairo Prince out of the Bates Motel mare Motel Lass, has five wins from nine starts and she’ll be seeking her first graded stakes win in the Las Flores.
THE GRADE III LAS FLORES Race 2 of 9 Approximate post time 1:30 p.m. PT
1. Gamine—John Velazquez—124
2. Qahira—Flavien Prat—122
3. Hang a Star—Abel Cedillo—120
4. Biddy Duke—Umberto Rispoli–124
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Gamine breaking his maiden at Santa Anita March 7, 2020, (Benoit)