In what amounted to little more than a paid workout, Kaleem Shah’s highly-regarded 3-year-old filly May Day Rose handled a pair of rivals to win the $100,000 Santa Ysabel (gr. III) Jan. 9 at Santa Anita Park.
The 1 1/16-mile race went to post with just three horses after a pair of scratches. The front-running May Day Rose took Bluegrass Chatter and Scarlet Starlet wire-to-wire to win by 1 1/4 lengths as the 1-20 favorite. The final time on Santa Anita’s dirt track was 1:42.81. Rafael Bejarano was in the irons.
“That’s her style. She wants to run on the lead and she got the job done,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “I missed a work with her during the rain, so I was hoping her class would carry her, and it did today.”
May Day Rose, a daughter of Rockport Harbor, raced comfortably through splits of :23.44, :47.47, and 1:11.48. Scarlet Starlet stayed close to the pacesetter for most of the way while 9-1 Bluegrass Chatter raced a bit further back.