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Bast Outduels Donna Veloce in Starlet
Ernie Belmonte

Bast Outduels Donna Veloce in Starlet

CYPRESS, CA – Baoma Corporation’s Bast rebounded from defeat and turned the tables on Donna Veloce, outdueling her to win Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos.

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Breaking from post 2 under Drayden Van Dyke as the 2/1 second choice, Bast rushed ahead and was able to secure command heading into the clubhouse turn, but Donna Veloce stayed attached to her right hip as they made their way onto the backstretch. Together, the two fillies posted opening fractions of :22.80, :47.22, and 1:11.99 while the remaining three raced close behind.

Off the far turn, the two fillies remained in lock-step while separating from the rest of the pack. At the 1/16 pole, Bast began to inch ahead of her rival before crossing a 1/2-length in front at the wire. The Bob Baffert trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the good (sealed) main track in a final time of 1:43.36.

“She was going easy out there and really responded when I asked her in the stretch,” Van Dyke said. “The track was great today.”

Donna Veloce finished a close second for the second straight time after her runner-up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), ahead of Bast (who finished third). It was another 12 lengths back to K P Dreamin, who edged the winner’s stablemate Gingham by a 1/2-length for third. Roadrunner’s Honor completed the order of finish.

The Starlet is part of the Road to the 2020 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Bast earned 10 points for the win, with Donna Veloce receiving 4 for second, K P Dreamin 2 for third, and Gingham 1 for fourth.

Bast’s win was her third of the year – all at the Grade 1 level – and improved her record to 5-3-1-1 with $732,200 earned. The 2-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo was purchased for $500,000 as a yearling.

“She was doing so much better for this race than she was before the Breeders’ Cup race,” Baffert said. “I think the race before (the Chandelier Stakes) took a lot out of her. She was training like she did at Del Mar … We knew when we got her on this dirt surface she would love it, and she just bounced over it. Turning for home, I was confident because she had been doing so well and her last work was so strong. She looked great in the paddock today.”

Bast returned $6.40 to win and $2.10 to place, while Donna Veloce paid $2.10 to place. There was no show betting.

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