BREEDERS’ CUP CHAMP GAMINE BACK IN A BIG WAY AS SHE CRUISES TO A FIVE LENGTH WIN IN GRADE III, $100,000 LAS FLORES STAKES WHILE GETTING SIX FURLONGS IN 1:09.52
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 4, 2021)–The champ is back. Idle since winning the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint on Nov. 7, Bob Baffert’s Gamine, in what amounted to a paid workout, broke alertly from her rail post and made every pole a winning one in taking Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita by five lengths. With regular rider John Velazquez up, she got six furlongs while well within herself in 1:09.52.
“She came back so good,” said Velazquez, who had most recently guided Gamine to a 6 ¼ length triumph at Keeneland on Nov. 7. “She felt as good as last year. Bob thinks she’s not ready yet, that’s what he told me. She does everything so effortlessly, it’s just everything she does, makes my job a lot easier. I just steer where I want to go and that’s it. That’s the biggest point of her strength, I believe.”
With no show wagering, Gamine, who has now finished first in six out of her seven career starts by a combined 38 ¼ lengths, was off at 1-20 and paid $2.10 to win, with no place and show wagering.
“I told Johnny before, ‘With the one hole, make sure you don’t let her make the gap (as the horses come out of the seven furlong chute onto the main track oval),” said Baffert. “Ride her like she’s 10-1.’ I’m happy for my owners and everybody involved. They are excited, it’s Easter Sunday, so it’s a big win…
“They (the fans) saw one of the greatest fillies I’ve ever trained going one turn. Hopefully, we’ll stretch her out.”
Purchased for $1.8 million out of the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in Training Sale, Gamine, a 4-year-old filly by Into Mischief out of the Kafwain mare Peggy Jane, is owned by Michael Lund Petersen. With the Las Flores purse of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $893,000. With four graded stakes wins, three of them Grade I’s, her official resume now reads five wins from seven starts, as she was disqualified from purse money earned in a first condition allowance win at Oaklawn Park on May 2, 2020.
Baffert’s Qahira, who sat a joint second, about one length off the winner with Hang a Star and Biddy Duke leaving the half mile pole, proved second best under Flavien Prat as she finished 2 ¾ lengths in front of Biddy Duke.
Fractions on the race were 22.74, 45.77 and 57.54.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Saturday, with first post time at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.