It’s rare to see a Bob Baffert-trained horse make its first start
without a bullet work. It’s rarer still to see a Baffert firster make
its debut in a route race, but such was the case with Blonde Fog, who
runs in the Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Saturday,
one of six stakes races to be decided on Sunshine Millions Day at Santa
Blonde Fog made her first start in a maiden allowance race at 1
1/16 miles at Santa Anita last October, winning off by 12 ½ lengths at
6-1. She proved that was no fluke by coming back to lead well into the
stretch before finishing second by a length in the Grade I Betfair
Hollywood Starlet at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 8.
“Well, there wasn’t a short race, and she’s bred to go long, so
we put her in there,” Baffert said of his decision to run the
Kentucky-bred daughter of Divine Park in a route. “I had two in the race
and she sort of surprised us the way she ran first out.
“She ran a great race in the Starlet and worked great yesterday (five furlongs in 1:01). She went really well.”