Baffert Trio Formidable in Las Flores

Baffert Trio Formidable in Las Flores
Photo: Benoitphoto.com
Mother Ruth is one of three for trainer Bob Baffert in the Las Flores.
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Bob Baffert is going to be tough to beat in the $100,000 Las Flores Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita April 2. The Hall of Fame trainer entered half the field, including the potent pair of Gilded Gem and Mother Ruth.

Just six older fillies and mares were nominated for the 6 1/2-furlong Las Flores, and in an oddity, all six are running in the main track event. The Las Flores is the fourth race on the program with a 2:03 p.m. PDT probable start.

With the speedy Mother Ruth and the stalker Gilded Gem, Baffert has a tough combination. He also entered Subsidized, who likes to come from off the pace.

Gilded Gem and Mother Ruth are 5-year-old mares that have faced one another twice. Mother Ruth won the Jan. 7 Kalookan Queen Handicap in front-running fashion as the 6-5 favorite by one-half length over Gilded Gem. But the latter returned three weeks later to run second to Switch in the Santa Monica Stakes (gr. I) with Mother Ruth 2 1/2 lengths further back in fourth.

Joel Rosario rides Gilded Gem, a lightly raced daughter of Smarty Jones   owned by Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds and partners. She has posted a 3-4-0 record in nine races but is yet to win a stakes. Gilded Gem finished sixth in last year’s running of the Las Flores won by Mona de Momma.

Mother Ruth, a three-time stakes winner in search of her first graded score, will be handled by Martin Garcia. The Speightstown   offspring has won $283,283 for Zayat Stables with a record of 6-4-1 in 15 starts.

Candy's Pleasure should ensure an honest pace with hot jockey Patrick Valenzuela aboard. The 4-year-old Candy Ride   filly, conditioned by Marcelo Polanco, has won her past two starts on the Santa Anita main track on the front end, including an optional claiming allowance heat at six furlongs in her most recent try Feb. 27. This will be her stakes debut.

Glen Hill Farm's homebred Broken Dreams finished second to crack turf sprinter Unzip Me in the Monrovia Stakes (gr. IIIT) and the Clockers’ Corner Handicap this season. Both races were on the hillside course at the Las Flores distance. Garrett Gomez will be aboard the 5-year-old Broken Vow   mare trained by Tom Proctor.

Silver Swallow, at 7, is the top earner in the field with $461,415. She's won just four times in 29 starts but usually gets a piece for trainer Bruce Headley, who owns the gray/roan daughter of Alphabet Soup   along with Gainesway Farm and Irwin Molasky. She ran second to Mother Ruth in last October’s Louis R. Rowan Stakes at Hollywood Park and third to that one’s second in the Playa del Rey. In February, Silver Swallow chased second-place Gilded Gem home when third in an allowance event at Santa Anita. Mike Smith retains the mount.

Subsidized has won three of six starts including Fairplex Park’s Beverly J. Lewis Stakes last September. The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper   will be competing in her first graded stakes. Rafael Bejarano has the mount for owners Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman.

$100,000 Las Flores Stakes (gr. III, Race 4, 2:03 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 1/2 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Broken Dreams (FL), G K Gomez, T F Proctor
2. Candy's Pleasure (KY), P A Valenzuela, M Polanco
3. Mother Ruth (KY), M Garcia, B Baffert
4. Subsidized (KY),  R Bejarano, B Baffert
5. Gilded Gem (KY),  J Rosario, B Baffert
6. Silver Swallow (FL), M E Smith, B Headley
All assigned 118 pounds.
 

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