Baffert duo takes on Donna Veloce in Los Alamitos' Starlet Stakes

By Bob Mieszerski/Los Alamitos
December 04, 2019 04:29pm

With a pair of colts in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and fillies lined up for the Starlet Stakes (G1), trainer Bob Baffert will aim for an unprecedented third consecutive sweep of Saturday's Kentucky Derby and Oaks preps.

The Hall of Famer, who completed the significant parlay with Chasing Yesterday (Starlet) and Improbable (Futurity) last year after winning the Starlet with Dream Tree and Futurity with McKinzie in 2017, will have two representatives in both of the graded races for 2-year-olds.

Baffert is scheduled to run Bast and Gingham in the Staret, which he has won five times. High Velocity and Thousand Words will represent the barn in the Futurity as he chases a record 12th victory.

Before moving to Los Alamitos, the Starlet and Futurity were run at Hollywood Park  from 1981-2013. Baffert has won each Futurity at Los Alamitos.

The Futurity is the fourth of nine races and has a scheduled post time of 1:58 p.m. PT, while the Starlet goes about 90 minutes later as the seventh race.

The Starlet, whose past winners include Althea, Very Subtle, Goodbye Halo, Sardula, Serena’s Song, Surfside, Blind Luck, Take Charge Brandi and Abel Tasman, is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Oaks’’ series. The winner Saturday will receive 10 points towards earning a berth in the Kentucky Oaks next May 1 at Churchill Downs.

A daughter of Uncle Mo and the Arch mare Laffina owned by Baoma Corporation, Bast has won two of her four starts and banked $552,200. Both of her wins have come in Grade 1 races – the Del Mar Debutante Aug. 31 and the Chandelier four weeks later at Santa Anita.

In her most recent outing, the $500,000 yearling purchase was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, defeated two lengths by British Idiom.

Owned by Sarah Kelly and Jane Wiltz, Gingham has not been worse than second in four starts while banking $60,200. The Quality Road filly out of the Pulpit mare Chapel graduated in her last outing, winning by 1 ½ lengths as the 3-5 choice Oct. 31.

Trained by Simon Callaghan for Kaleem Shah, Inc., Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, Donna Veloce was second, a neck behind British Idiom, in the Juvenile Fillies in her second career start.

The Uncle Mo filly, who was purchased for $800,000 in March, broke her maiden by 9 ¼ lengths in her Sept. 28 debut at 6 ½ furlongs. She’s out of the Montjeu mare Coin Broker.

Callaghan is seeking his second win in the Starlet. He won with Abel Tasman in 2016.

Roadrunner’s Honor will try two turns for the first time Saturday. The Honor Code filly out of the Seeking the Gold mare Wild Idle is 1-for-2 with earnings of $36,000 for Roadrunner Racing and W.C. Racing Inc. and trainer Doug O’Neill.

The $100,000 March purchase scored at first asking Oct. 12 before checking in fourth in the Desi Arnaz Stakes Nov. 10 at Del Mar.

Trained by Jeff Mullins for Karl Pergola, K P Dreamin was well beaten in the BC Juvenile Fillies after finishing third in the Chandelier. The Union Rags filly out of the Point Given mare Litigating is 1-for-4 with earnings of $96,260.

From inside out, the field for the Starlet Stakes: Roadrunner’s Honor, Geovanni Franco rides, 120 pounds; Bast, Drayden Van Dyke, 120; Donna Veloce, Flavien Prat, 120; Gingham, Abel Cedillo, 120 and K P Dreamin, Ruben Fuentes, 120.


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