Chasing Yesterday 'looks great,' set for season debut Sunday

March 05, 2019 02:05pm
Chasing Yesterday_Desi Arnaz 2018_615x400
Photo: Benoit

Chasing Yesterday, the half-sister of American Pharoah, has inherited a disposition similar to the Triple Crown winner. This time of year, connections will find out if she has the same sort of talent, too.

Trainer Bob Baffert said the 3-year-old daughter of Tapit — out of the same Yankee Gentleman mare, Littleprincessemma — will make her season debut Sunday in Santa Anita Park’s Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes.

“She’s so sweet,” Baffert said of Chasing Yesterday, adding that it’s nearly impossible for him to walk past the filly’s stall without giving her a rub on the nose. “Other than being the most spoiled horse in the barn, she really looks great.”

Summer Wind Equine’s Chasing Yesterday took a major step forward in her last start, prevailing in a blanket finish to the Dec. 8 Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos. In all, the homebred has won four of five starts, with the only defeat her out of town trip in Saratoga’s Spinaway (G1) following a successful debut.

“This little break has helped her,” Baffert said, noting Chasing Yesterday’s filling out her frame, has a nice mind and shows nice color in her chestnut coat.

Chasing Yesterday breezed six furlongs Tuesday morning in 1:17.00 at Santa Anita.

“I’m excited to see her run,” Baffert said. “They’re always going to be tough out here, but right now I think she’s doing better than she ever has. She’s improving. I think she’s moving forward off her 2-year-old (season). And that’s the thing — you want to see if there’s any movement.”

Won in recent years by impressive fillies Stellar Wind (2015), Songbird (2016), Unique Bella (2017) and Midnight Bisou (2018), the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel pays out Kentucky Oaks qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 basis and precedes the April 6 Santa Anita Oaks (G1).

Chasing Yesterday sits ninth on the Oaks leaderboard with her points earned from the Starlet. She could also be in for a tough rematch with Enaya Alrabb, second by a neck to Chasing Yesterday in their last meeting before closing to within 3/4 of a length of West Coast leader Bellafina in the Feb. 9 Las Virgenes (G2).

Enaya Alrabb’s trainer, Doug O’Neill, pondered an equipment change after a half-mile breeze on Feb. 22.

“We took the blinkers off for the work and might take them off for the Santa Ysabel, too,” O’Neill said. “That could prove the missing link to winning.”

Entries for the Santa Ysabel will be taken Thursday.

Win or lose, there figure to be carrots — also American Pharoah’s snack of choice — for Chasing Yesterday back at the barn.

“You’ve got to remember, she came from Jane Lyon’s farm,” Baffert said. “They’re used to a lot of love there. She’s Pharoah’s sister — used to a lot of attention.”

 

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