SUNLAND PARK, NM – Summer Wind Equine’s homebred Chasing Yesterday made her 3-year-old debut a winning one after cruising without being asked for her best in Sunday’s Sunland Park Oaks.
Breaking from post 7 under Drayden Van Dyke as the daunting 1/20 favorite, Chasing Yesterday hopped out of the gate and was initially at the rear before she recovered to ride four-wide through the far turn. Ranging up within a length of the early leader K P Slickem through opening fractions of :24.17 and :48.00, Chasing Yesterday steadily gained on her foes down the backside while Van Dyke sat chilly.
Still three-wide in the far turn, Chasing Yesterday was put to task under a vigorous hand ride at the top of the stretch. Responding well to a few light cracks of the whip, the Bob Baffert trainee proved to be far much the best, taking the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast track in a final time of 1:43.18.
K P Slickem was no match for the winner, finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind, but she did fend off a late push from Backflash to take second by a neck. Figure took fourth over Enlisting, while Victim of Love, Parade of Roses, and Peaceoutyourhonor all never factored into the running before completing the order of finish.
Bellafina was entered to run and had drawn the far outside 9 post, but her connections scratched, opting instead to enter the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) at her home track of Santa Anita Park on April 6.
The Sunland Park Oaks is part of the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Oaks prep race season. Chasing Yesterday earned 50 points for the win, with K P Slickem receiving 20 for second, Backflash 10 for third, and Figure 5 for fourth.
Chasing Yesterday’s win was her fourth straight following a narrow score in the Starlet Stakes (G1) to close out her juvenile season and improved her overall record to 6-5-0-0. The 3-year-old daughter of Tapit, a half-sister to the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, has earned $440,650 thus far in her career.
Chasing Yesterday returned $2.10 to win, $2.10 to place, and $2.10 to show. K P Slickem brought back $9 to place and $6 to show, while Backflash paid $3.60 to show.