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The feature race Saturday at Santa Anita Park saw the Bob Baffert-trained Under the Stars hold off a stretch-long challenge from Awake At Midnyte to take the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) and earn a sharp 92 Beyer Speed Figure for acing the 7-furlong test. Though no Baffert trainees can currently earn points on either the Kentucky Oaks (G1) or Kentucky Derby (G1) trails, that hasn’t stopped the white-haired madman from wreaking havoc in any California 3-year-old dirt stakes. And that shouldn’t stop anytime soon with another potential freak filly who raced the same weekend…
A day prior to Under the Stars earning her stakes stripes, Adare Manor successfully stretched out to two turns and gave what may have been the most singularly dominating performance from any 3-year-old in the crop – regardless of gender. With Hall of Famer John Velazquez in the saddle, Adare Manor made up for a pair of defeats when sprinting to start her career by earning a 92 Beyer that matched what Under the Stars’ performance garnished for winning the Santa Ynez Stakes (G2). With this ultra-impressive effort at two turns under her belt, Adare Manor has stamped herself a legitimate threat in the division.
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With due respect to Coach winning Oaklawn Park’s Pippin Stakes and Clear Vision upsetting the Tropical Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, let’s give a tip of the cap to a surefire Kentucky Derby (G1) trail entrant next out in Golden Glider. The Mark Casse trainee won impressively in last-to-first style while debuting at 1 1/16 miles (one turn) on Woodbine’s synthetic course, but the question remained if his talent could carry over onto the dirt. That question was emphatically answered Friday when he romped while routing on the Tampa Bay Downs main track. The Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) over the same course on February 12 is his likely next start.
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