Baoma Corporation's Faypien continued her trip up the class ladder June 17 with a victory in the $200,000 Summertime Oaks (G2) at Santa Anita Park, but she needed every ounce of effort in the final strides.
Video: Summertime Oaks (G2)
Following a maiden-breaking victory April 23 and her first stakes win in the Angels Flight May 14, the 3-year-old Ghostzapper filly handled her first two-turn try with aplomb and just edged Mopotism by a head at the wire.
Faypien got an ideal stalking trip behind clear leader Sheza Chattykat through most of the 1 1/16-mile dirt test, put a head in front fellow stalker Spooky Woods with a furlong to run, and held off an outside run by Mopotism, who closed from sixth.
Sheza Chattykat set fractions of :23.14, :46.95, and 1:11.02 through six furlongs, before Faypien took over to cover a mile in 1:36.67 and hit the wire in 1:43.17.
"I wanted to put her in the race right away and go from there," said winning jockey Rafael Bejarano. "I was able to find position right away and she relaxed. She was comfortable. ... When I came to the stretch, it was tough. She tried every step and I knew Mopotism was flying at the end.
"She deserved to win, because she was working really hard. She tried with every step."
The win gave trainer Bob Baffert his fourth victory in the Summertime Oaks.
"She really grinds it out every race and she's tough," Baffert said of Faypien. "She's all heart and she was all heart that last hundred yards."
Spooky Woods came in third, but was disqualified to fifth after the stewards ruled she caused interference with her Jerry Hollendorfer-trained stablemate It Tiz Well. Favored at 6-5, It Tiz Well had a rough trip all the way around the Santa Anita main track. She was checked in the first turn, then pulled jockey Mike Smith going down the backstretch, and when Smith tried to close on the rail in the stretch, had to check again when Spooky Woods moved over on her.
Faypien now has three wins from four starts with earnings of $205,680. Bred by Off The Hook out of the Freud mare Mighty Eros, she was a $750,000 purchase at the Oca'a Breeders' Sale spring sale of 2-year-olds in training in 2016.
"When we purchased her we were hoping for something like this," Baffert said. "I honestly thought my other horse, Noted and Quoted, would do better. She was in a good spot, but it didn't pan out. ... Races like this are why we purchase fillies like this."