Game Face was another 17 1/4 lengths back in third, with Golden Doc A finishing last in a field of 3-year-old fillies that consisted of just four runners due to the scratch of Dance Gal Dance.
"Every time the filly tried to sprint away from her, we were right on her again," Jerkens said. "She set fractions, but we weren’t far behind. I thought it might be telling on us, too.”
"She stumbled a bit coming out of the gate," Velazquez said. "I wanted to be close. I was pretty confident. I shook my hands and showed her the way. She did it pretty easily.”
Zaftig and Indian Blessing raced as one briefly, but as Velazquez lost his whip near the eighth pole, Zaftig pulled away from her rival and cruised to the wire, getting the final quarter-mile in :24.82.
"I think she can go farther," Jerkens said. "There are a lot of great races for 3-year-old fillies out there."
Trainer Bob Baffert had no excuse for Indian Blessing, who rated much better in this start than in her previous attempt, the March 3 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II), in which she was rank early and lost by 2 1/4 lengths to Proud Spell.
"She’s just so fast," Baffert said. "You hate to lose, but she ran her race. I thought I had her relaxed enough, so she would kick on. But she won’t do that. She’s like, 'Point me in the right direction and I’ll give it to you.’ You can’t be mad at her for what she has done. We’re disappointed, but we’re not disgusted.”
"It has been a while since she ran," Gomez said. "She relaxed well, but no one was going to give her a break. I thought she was fast enough to shake loose. But Johnny wouldn't let me get away.”