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Baffert Aims for Eighth Del Mar Debutante

Bob Baffert

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert chalked up his seventh Del Mar Debutante in 2012 when his lone entrant, 4-5 favorite Executiveprivilege, prevailed over Beholder by a nose.

Aiming for No. 8, Baffert will have three representatives Saturday for the 63rd running of the $300,000, seven furlong test for 2-year-old fillies, the penultimate Grade I of the meeting. And there could be strength, if not experience, in Baffert’s numbers.

Awesome Baby was an impressive winner in her racing debut on August 4. Secret Compass notched her maiden victory here on July 28 after finishing fourth in her debut at Hollywood Park three weeks earlier. And Fascinating has been a closing third in two starts, both over the Del Mar main track.

“They’re really nice fillies,” Baffert said. “Awesome Baby ran awesome. Fascinating, I can’t believe she’s still a maiden, but the distance should help her. Secret Compass, we’ve always been very high on her.

“They all might need to go further, but I didn’t want to put them on a plane and ship them somewhere else. It just made sense to stay here, walk them out of their stalls and go for a Grade I.”

Baffert’s past Debutante winners are: Batroyale (1995) Vivid Angel (1997), Excellent Meeting (1998), Chilukki (1999), Habibti (2001), Point Ashley (2006), and Executiveprivilege. Chilukki went on to an Eclipse Award in the division.

The Debutante field, from the rail out, is: Awesome Baby (Martin Garcia, 5-1), Fascinating (Mike Smith, 10-1), Concave (Patrick Valenzuela, 7-2), Bajan (Victor Espinoza, 8-1), Southern Sunshine (Garrett Gomez, 10-1), She’s a Tiger (Gary Stevens, 4-1), Sprouts (Mario Gutierrez, 6-1) and Secret Compass (Joe Talamo, 6-1).



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