Sharp Cat winner May Day Rose is the probable favorite for the Santa Ysabel Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Sharp Cat winner May Day Rose is the probable favorite for the Santa Ysabel Stakes.
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May Day Rose Solid Choice in Santa Ysabel

Quick-footed filly figures to be tough to catch in small field of sophomore fillies.

May Day Rose was unable to stay with Turbulent Descent in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) in December, but the speedy daughter of Rockport Harbor figures to bounce back against four rivals in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 9 at Santa Anita Park.

Trainer Bob Baffert's charge figures to be a tough filly to catch in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel and looms as a solid favorite. The race goes as the third on the program with a 1:31 p.m. PST post.

Owned by Kaleem S. Shah, May Day Rose, a $220,000 purchase, was a 4 1/4-length winner of Hollywood Park's 1 1/16-mile Sharp Cat Stakes in her third start Nov. 7. The bay filly returned at the same distance in the Starlet.

After battling near the lead, May Day Rose took the advantage into the stretch but was no match for the undefeated Turbulent Descent in the stretch. May Day Rose faded to fourth in the final furlong, beaten by 3 1/4 lengths.

“She should have been on the lead,” Baffert told Daily Racing Form. “I was disappointed with that. She’s got to be on the lead. That’s her style, and I’m not going to change it.”

The Florida-bred filly has won two of four races in her brief career. Rafael Bejarano retains the mount.

Baffert also entered Peachtree Stable's Plum Pretty, who has not been out since going gate-to-wire to capture her debut against maidens at Oak Tree's meet Oct. 27 at Hollywood Park. The Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  has been working with interest at Santa Anita for her return.

Also coming out of the Starlet is Jerry and Ann Moss' Zazu, who never got into gear while finishing fifth. The gray/roan daughter of Tapit  ran second to Turbulent Descent in Hollywood's Moccasin Stakes prior to the Starlet. John Sadler trains Zazu, who broke her maiden impressively at Hollywood Park Oct. 15.

Vinery Stable's Scarlet Starlet has raced twice for trainer Doug O'Neill, breaking her maiden at first asking on the Hollywood Park turf Nov. 14. The Florida-bred daughter of Congrats  returned to action in the Dec. 4 Corte Madera Stakes on the Tapeta racing surface at Golden Gate Fields but showed little after hopping at the break and finishing sixth.

Maiden winner Bluegrass Chatter was supplemented to the Santa Ysabel by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer off a maiden win by a nose in her route debut Dec. 2 at Hollywood. The Maryland-bred Bluegrass Cat  filly, owned by Dark Hollow Farm, William DeBurgh, and Hollendorfer, figures to benefit from a hot pace.

$100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III, Race 3, 1:31 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Bluegrass Chatter (MD), J Rosario, 118, J Hollendorfer
2. Scarlet Starlet (FL), M A Pedroza, 118, D F O'Neill
3. Zazu (KY), J Talamo, 118, J W Sadler
4. May Day Rose (FL), R Bejarano, 118, B Baffert
5. Plum Pretty (PA), G K Gomez, 118, B Baffert
All assigned 118 pounds.