Baffert-Trained Kalypso Headlines Sunday’s Oaks Prep At Santa Anita Park

Bob Baffert’s well accomplished Kalypso heads a field of five sophomore fillies going a mile and one sixteenth in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita. Baffert will also be represented by Baoma Corporation’s Beautiful Gift as well as Pegram, Watson and Weitman’s Heels Up in a race that Baffert has won a record five times.

With 50 Kentucky Oaks qualifying points to be awarded to the winner, the Santa Ynez takes on added significance as America’s biggest race for 3-year-old fillies looms on April 30 at Churchill Downs. Saturday’s second, third and fourth place finishers will receive 20, 15 and five points respectively.

Third, beaten 1 ¾ lengths by Kalypso in the Grade 3 Las Virgenes Stakes here on Feb. 6, trainer Michael McCarthy’s Moraz will likely go as the second choice in the Santa Ysabel, which will be her fourth career start. A recent mile and one sixteenth maiden winner at Golden Gate Fields, McCarthy’s A Real Hero will be a longshot with Flavien Prat aboard.

Owned by David Bernsen, LLC and Rockingham Ranch, Kalyspo, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Brody’s Cause, out of the Malibu Moon mare Malibu Cove, broke her maiden going six furlongs four starts back in the ungraded Anoakia Stakes on Oct. 18 and then showed the way prior to running second, beaten 1 ½ lengths going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos Dec. 5.

Off at 4-5 in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes going seven furlongs on Jan. 3, Kalypso pressed the pace and prevailed by 1 ¾ lengths. Subsequently second as the even money favorite going one mile in the Grade 3 Las Virgenes Stakes on Feb. 6, she was no match for Richard Mandella’s Moonlight d’Oro, who rallied powerfully through the lane to prevail by 1 ½ lengths.

Although second twice at two turns, Kalypso, who will be making her seventh start, retains the services of Joel Rosario and is strictly the horse to beat on Sunday.

Owned by her breeder, Don Alberto Corporation, Moraz, who was a dazzling 11 length maiden winner going a flat mile two starts back on Jan. 8, kept to her task in the Las Virgenes when beaten 1 ¾ lengths by the top selection and her connections are hoping she has enough upside to turn the tables.

By Empire Maker out of the A.P. Indy mare Malvinia, Moraz will be making her fourth start and be handled by regular rider Umberto Rispoli.

Bet down to 3-5 as she stretched out to a flat mile in her second start on Oct. 23, Baoma Corporation’s homebred Beautiful Gift stalked the early pace and rallied gamely for a half length win. By Medaglia d’Oro out of the A.P. Indy mare Sea Gift, Beautiful Gift also appears to have ample upside and will be ridden for the first time by John Velazquez.

Baffert’s Heels Up, who has been idle since running third in the 6 ½ furlongs Dezi Arnaz Stakes Nov. 14 at Del Mar, will be stretching out for the first time in what will be her fourth start. Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Heels Up, a daughter of Twirling Candy out of the Tale of the Cat mare Tale Untold, will likely be forwardly placed under Drayden Van Dyke, who will be aboard for the first time.

THE GRADE 3 SANTA YSABEL WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT

  1. A Real Hero—Flavien Prat—120
  2. Beautiful Gift—John Velazquez—120
  3. Heels Up—Drayden Van Dyke—120
  4. Kalypso—Joel Rosario—120
  5. Moraz—Umberto Rispoli—120

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. All of Santa Anita’s races are offered free of charge at santaanita.com/live and fans can wager at 1st.com/bet. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

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