Rafael Bejarano returns to the winner's circle aboard Faypien after taking the Summertime Oaks

Rafael Bejarano returns to the winner's circle aboard Faypien after taking the Summertime Oaks

Benoit Photo

Faypien, American Gal Ship East for Test Stakes

California fillies set sights on grade 1 at Saratoga Race Course.

Bob Baffert and Baoma Corporation enjoyed success shipping to Saratoga Race Course last year, when eventual champion Drefong blew away the competition in the Ketel One King's Bishop Stakes (G1).

This summer, the same connections will make a raiding trip for the $500,000 Longines Test Stakes (G1) with 3-year-old Faypien, a Ghostzapper  filly who will step to the top level in pursuit of her fourth straight win.

Perfect since she broke her maiden at second asking April 23 by 4 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita Park going seven furlongs—the Test distance—Faypien stepped from that victory to the listed Angels Flight Stakes, which she won May 14 at the same trip. Last time out, she took the June 17 Summertime Oaks (G2) going 1 1/16 miles by a head over Mopotism, when she held gamely between horses after she stalked the pace and mader her winning move three deep into the stretch. All of her efforts have been at Santa Anita Park.

BALAN: Faypien Edges Mopotism in Summertime Oaks

"She is a filly that has run really well her last two out," Baffert said. "In California there is really nothing out here for her. I just thought getting a grade 1 for her would be important. She is a trier. She really tries hard. She has a huge heart. I just hope she gets a clean break."

Faypien, who shares a highweight assignment of 120 with fellow grade 2 winner Tequilita, will leave post 8 in a field of 10. Rafael Bejarano has the return call on the filly, a $720,000 purchase from Off the Hook's consignment to the Ocala Breeders' Sales April 2016 spring sale of 2-year-olds in training. 

Tequilita, breaking from post 4, will start for the first time since running seventh in the May 5 Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), and dials back in distance from the 1 1/8-mile Oaks. Dorothy Alexander Matz's Union Rags  filly broke her maiden fourth time out for trainer Michael Matz in October going seven furlongs at Keeneland, won the Nov. 19 Smart Halo Stakes at six furlongs on the Gulfstream Park main track, and returned Feb. 4 to take the Forward Gal Stakes (G2) at the Test distance. A runner-up effort in the 1 1/16-mile Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) earned her a chance at the lilies, after which she was freshened for the Test.

WINCZE HUGHES: Tequilita Makes Matz Proud in Forward Gal

Kaleem Shah's American Gal will look for her second New York score after a successful July 9 visit saw her win the 6 1/2-furlong Victory Ride Stakes (G3) by 4 3/4 lengths at Belmont Park, despite a stumble at the start in her first start for Simon Callaghan.

The Concord Point filly has yet to win above the grade 3 level, but showed her class when second by a length to eventual multiple grade 1 winner Abel Tasman in the Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos Race Course, and with a third before that as the 4-1 favorite in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Those were her only losses. She won easily at first asking going 5 1/2 furlongs Aug. 14 at Del Mar, and next took the Anoakia Stakes going six furlongs at Santa Anita by 6 1/2 lengths before she jumped to grade 1 company in the Breeders' Cup.

BALAN: American Gal Impresses in Victory Ride

Poindexter Thoroughbred's homebred Chanel's Legacy will make her 13th start and enters off a fourth in the Iowa Oaks (G3) after she wired the field by a neck in the Panthers Stakes. Previously, the speedy Iowa-bred Dominus  filly was runner-up in the Fantasy Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park. Chanel's Legacy will make her first start for trainer Chad Summers from post 9.

"She's doing super. We're working on trying to get her to relax a bit," Summers said. "There's some speed, but I think seven-eighths is her best distance. The owner, Allen Poindexter—he owns the mare, he owns the sisters—so it's a big deal to run in a grade 1 like this at Saratoga.

"It's an interesting field. Some horses that are highly regarded, and you've got some (up-and-coming) horses that haven't taken on much yet, but we think this filly belongs here. I'm going to go over there with a lot of confidence, but I think it's anybody's race—a great race, a competitive race."

Minnie Blip, Chalon, Cursor, Divine Miss GreyVertical Oak, and Your Love complete the field.

Entries: Longines Test S. (G1)

Saratoga Race Course, Saturday, August 05, 2017, Race 8

  • Grade I
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $500,000
  • 3 yo Fillies
  • 5:10 PM (local)
11Minnie Blip (KY)Javier Castellano116Albert M. Stall, Jr.15/1
22Your Love (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateIrad Ortiz, Jr.116Chad C. Brown6/1
33Chalon (KY)Paco Lopez116Peter Miller5/1
44Tequilita (KY)Luis Saez120Michael R. Matz15/1
55Vertical Oak (KY)Florent Geroux118Steven M. Asmussen8/1
66Cursor (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJunior Alvarado116Mark A. Hennig30/1
77Divine Miss Grey (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateManuel Franco116Danny Gargan12/1
88Faypien (FL)Rafael Bejarano120Bob Baffert3/1
99Chanel's Legacy (IA)Joel Rosario116Chad Summers15/1
1010American Gal (KY)Jose L. Ortiz118Simon Callaghan5/2