When the speedball Candy's Pleasure was scratched at the gate before
Saturday's $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita, it might have been
taken as an inauspicious omen for the closers, and a positive for the
Bob Baffert-trained Mother Ruth, who figured to inherit the role of
controlling speed. But it was another Baffert runner, Gaines-Gentry
Thoroughbreds and Serengeti Stable's homebred Glided Gem, who turned
conventional wisdom on its head with a rousing last-to-first rally.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Gilded Gem burst clear down the stretch to
spearhead an all-Baffert exacta with the barn's third entrant,
Subsidized. Only the Bruce Headley-trained Silver Swallow foiled a
Baffert trifecta by overtaking Mother Ruth late for third.
In the early going, 8-5 favorite Mother Ruth sprinted to the fore and
rattled off splits of :21 4/5 and :44 2/5. Broken Dreams and Silver
Swallow were giving chase, while Subsidized bided her time in fourth and
Gilded Gem was unhurried at the tail of the five-horse field.