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Beautiful Gift Nails Moraz In Santa Ysabel
Credit: Ernie Belmonte

Beautiful Gift Nails Moraz In Santa Ysabel

ARCADIA, CA – Baoma Corporation homebred Beautiful Gift flew late in the stretch to nail Moraz in the shadow of the wire and win Sunday’s $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

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Moraz, the only runner not trained by Bob Baffert, tracked the 3/5 favorite Kalypso early in the 1 1/16-mile dirt route that shortened to a field of four 3-year-old fillies after Moraz’s stablemate A Real Hero scratched.

Moraz inherited the lead as Kalypso gave way off the far turn, but though Moraz initially pulled clear at the top of the stretch, the damage done to soften her was just enough.

Beautiful Gift and jockey John Velazquez charged in the stretch and caught the tiring Moraz in the final jumps before crossing a head clear of her rival in 1:44.83.

“I thought (Moraz) was the horse to beat, so I wanted to keep it as close as I could so she didn’t have too much to make up to the wire,” Velazquez said. “I had to steady a little at the 1/4 pole and it took me a little more time to get her to the outside. She was full of run and I was trying to keep her from getting dirt in her face. … By the time I got her to the outside, I got her rolling and I was hoping she would get there before the wire, and she did.”

Kalypso and Heels Up completed the order of finish.

The Santa Ysabel is part of the Road to the 2021 Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep race season. Beautiful Gift earned 50 points for the win, with Moraz receiving 20 for second, Kalypso 10 for third, and Heels Up 5 for fourth.

Beautiful Gift’s win came in her first start since breaking her maiden going a mile here last October and improved the Medaglia d’Oro filly’s record to 3-2-0-1 with $99,600 earned.

“Thank you to Bob and the team for having me,” said Velazquez, based on the east coast but in town to ride for the weekend. “Hopefully, I get more opportunities to come here.”

Beautiful Gift returned $8 to win and $3.80 to place. Moraz paid $3.20 to place. There was no show betting.

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