Champion Gamine Cruises To Easy Victory In Seasonal Debut In Las Flores

The champ is back.  Idle since winning the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland on Nov. 7, Bob Baffert-trained 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 3, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.  With regular rider John Velazquez up, she got six furlongs while well within herself in 1:09.52 and drawing off by five lengths.

“She came back so good,” said Velazquez, who rode Gamine in her final four starts of 2020.  “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 place or show wagering, Gamine, who has now finished first across the wire in six 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.

The post Champion Gamine Cruises To Easy Victory In Seasonal Debut In Las Flores appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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