Odds-on choice Mildly Offensive validated her impressive debut maiden win last month when she splashed to a 4 1/4-length romp in the $100,000 Santa Paula Stakes on a sloppy track at rainy Santa Anita March 20 (VIDEO).
Making just her second start for trainer Carla Gaines, Mildly Offensive, a daughter of Sharp Humor owned by Warren B. Williamson and bred by WinStar Farm, had no problem whatsoever with the off-going.
Following two scratches, six 3-year-old fillies contested the Santa Paula.
Settled in third down the backstretch while racing in the middle of the track for Rafael Bejarano, Mildly Offensive went for an early run as the field reached the turn of the 6 1/2-furlong event and coasted to the front. Bejarano never had to look for a threat in the stretch as the dark bay/brown filly won for fun while coming home in 1:15.70 over a sealed track.
"We’ve always thought a lot of her and she ran to our expectations today," Gaines said. "We had a good draw and everything went our way."
Grade II winner California Nectar battled with Tiz the Route for the early lead while carving a blazing quarter-mile in :21.55. The 123-pound top weight quickly faded, however, after Mildly Offensive took command and completed the half-mile in :43.81.
This was the second stakes win of the day for Bejarano, who also took the off-the-turf San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. III) with Juniper Pass.
"I wondered a little bit about the track conditions but when I started to warm up my filly it felt like she really liked it," Bejarano said.
Mildly Offensive, who is out of the Personal Flag mare It's Personal, drew off to win her six-furlong maiden start by four lengths Feb. 19 at Santa Anita, earning a 90 Beyer while timed in 1:08.25. She has worked sensationally since then, drilling four furlongs in :46 2/5, second fasted of 48 at the distance March 6, and coming back with a five-furlong move in :58 2/5, second fastest of 68 on March 13.
With nothing left on the Santa Anita stakes schedule for Mildly Offensive, she figures to return during the upcoming Hollywood Park meet. She earned $60,000 for the Santa Paula win and has banked $92,400 overall.
Hout Bay, also coming off a strong debut maiden win for John Sadler Jan. 22, rallied for second under Joel Rosario, 5 1/4 lengths in front of third-place finisher Justenufappeal. Tiz the Route, California Nectar and Joe Ja completed the order.
The 1-2 favorite Mildly Offensive carried 118 pounds and paid $3, $2.40 and $2.10. Hout Bay returned $3.60 and $2.80. The exacta was worth $9. Justenufappeal was $3.40 to show.
Dawnie Macho and Top Debutante scratched.