(Trainer Bob Baffert / Photo by Gene McLean)
From the Los Alamitos Media Team:
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert completed a weekend sweep of the graded stakes at Los Alamitos, taking the $100,500 Bayakoa Sunday with favored As Time Goes By.
Twenty-four hours after seeing Eda give him his fifth consecutive victory in the Grade I Starlet, Baffert watched As Time Goes By repel a stiff late challenge by 8-1 shot Warren’s Showtime to win the Grade III by 1 ¼ lengths.
Owned by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, the 4-year-old American Pharoah filly out of the Dehere mare Take Charge Lady won for the fifth time in 12 starts and pushed her earnings to $535,600.
Part of a quick early – 22.02 and 45.54 for the opening half mile – pace in tandem with 7-1 shot Harvest Moon, As Time Goes By disposed of that rival, a mild bid from Stellar Sound, then had to dig deep to prevail over the California bred runner-up who finished five lengths clear of the rest of the field.
Ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, As Time Goes By completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.97 and paid $4.20, $3 and $2.10 as the 11-10 choice in a field reduced to six after the scratch of outsider Lisette.
Warren’s Showtime, who has been 1-2-3 in 22 of 24 lifetime starts for owner-breeders Benjamin and Sally Warren and trainer Craig Lewis, returned $4.40 and $2.80. The show price on Moonlight d’Oro, the 5-2 second choice, was $2.40.
Stellar Sound, Harvest Moon and Bye Bye Bertie completed the order of finish.
“I love this filly,’’ said Baffert, who also won the 2014 Bayakoa with Tiz Midnight, the first time it was run at Los Alamitos. “I love (wife) Jill No. 1 and this filly No. 2. My two favorite girls.
“They went so fast early I was afraid of Warren’s Showtime, who is a very good horse, and I was hoping (As Time Goes By) would have something left. I’ve always been high on her.
“I’m hoping she runs as a 5-year-old because I’d really like to win a Grade I with her and I know she can. The owners said if she’s doing well they will keep her in training.’’
Jockey Abel Cedillo, the leading rider at the Los Angeles County Fair meet in September, tripled Sunday, taking the first with Sauls Call, the fifth – in a dead heat – with Suzie Qzz Brother and the sixth with Augusta Melody.
Racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
FAVORED EDA SHOWS TENACITY, GIVES BAFFERT FIFTH CONSECUTIVE STARLET WIN
Trainer Bob Baffert made it five consecutive victories in the Grade I, $300,500 Starlet as 11-10 choice Eda showed tenacity to turn back a pair of challenges in the stretch Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Trying two turns for the first time in her career after back-to-back sprint stakes wins, the 2-year-old Munnings filly relaxed off longshot stablemate Benedict Canyon early, took over about six furlongs into the race, battled back after being passed inside the final eighth of a mile by 19-1 shot Tonito’s, then held off a large surge by 7-2 third choice Cairo Memories to win by a half-length.
The victory was the third in a row in the Starlet for Baoma Corporation, which also campaigned 2019 heroine Bast and Varda, who scored a 17-1 surprise last year.
Out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Show Me, Eda completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.51 for her fourth win in six attempts. A $550,000 purchase at the March OBS sale, the bay has now banked $370,000. In providing jockey Juan Hernandez his first Starlet success, Eda paid $4.20, $3.20 and $2.60.
“She relaxed and we had a good position on the outside down the backside,’’ said Hernandez. “She responded when I asked her at the head of the stretch and when they came to her on the inside and outside she didn’t want to let them by. She was very game.’’
Making her first start on dirt after winning twice in three races on grass, Cairo Memories finished a neck in front of Tonito’s and returned $3.40 and $3. The show price on Tonito’s was $4.20.
“She rated well and you never know how they’re going to do going long until you try,’’ said Baffert of the winner. “She relaxed, but turning for home I wasn’t sure. (Hernandez) said she really dug in when she was challenged and didn’t want to lose.
“It was pretty exciting. Eda is getting better and better and getting the Grade I for her is very important.
In addition to the five Starlet wins at Los Alamitos, Baffert also captured it three times at Hollywood Park, which offered the race between 1981-2013). His eight total victories ties him for the top spot with fellow Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.
“To me Wayne Lukas has always been the bar in racing,’’ he said. “He was the No. 1 guy when I was in quarter horse racing and he was the No. 1 guy when I switched over to thoroughbreds, so it’s a very big accomplishment.’’
The disappointment in the race was Grace Adler. The 2-1 second choice, who won the Grade I Del Mar Debutante earlier in the year for Baffert and owners Willow Grace Farm and Michael Lund Peterson, trailed virtually throughout and was eased to the wire by jockey Flavien Prat.
“She got upset in the paddock and (Prat) told (assistant trainer) Jimmy (Barnes) that she just had no interest in running,’’ said Baffert after the Curlin filly’s second poor effort in a row. She finished a distant fifth as the 9-10 favorite in the Grade II Chandelier two months earlier at Santa Anita.
Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 12:30 p.m.
The main event is the $100,000 Bayakoa, a Grade III for fillies and mares – 3-year-olds & up – at 1 1/16 miles. The Bayakoa will go as the ninth and final race with a scheduled post time of 4:28 p.m.