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Gamine Back in a Big Way in Las Flores
Credit: Ernie Belmonte

Gamine Back in a Big Way in Las Flores

ARCADIA, CA – Idle since winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) November 7, Bob Baffert’s 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 $100,000 Las Flores Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita by 5 lengths.

With regular rider John Velazquez up, she got 6 furlongs while well within herself in 1:09.52.

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“She came back so good,” said Velazquez, who had most recently guided Gamine to her 6 1/4-length triumph at Keeneland. “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.” 

Gamine, who has now finished first in 6 out of her 7 career starts by a combined 38 1/4 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 7-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 4 graded stakes wins, 3 of them Grade 1s, her official resume now reads 5 wins from 7 starts, as she was disqualified from purse money earned due to drug positives in a first condition allowance win at Oaklawn Park last May and the Kentucky Oaks (G1), where she crossed third.

Baffert’s Qahira, who sat a joint second, about 1 length off the winner with Hang a Star and Biddy Duke leaving the 1/2-mile pole, proved second best under Flavien Prat as she finished 2 3/4 lengths in front of Biddy Duke.

Fractions on the race were 22.74, 45.77 and 57.54.

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