An attentive third going into the Club House turn, Bob Baffert’s Faithfully kicked into gear around the far turn and waltzed to a facile 2 ½ length win under Rafael Bejarano in Sunday’s $70,500 Santa Lucia Stakes at Santa Anita. Owned by John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. and Bruce Lunsford, she got a mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.17.
Off at 8-5 in a field of five fillies and mares three and up, she paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.40.
“We knew she was training really well but we felt that yesterday (Grade I Beholder Mile) was a bit too steep for her,” said Baffert.“I wanted to get her confidence going. She’ll have to run against those fillies and mares next time, but I like the way she’s progressing this year.”
Idle since running second in her second start of the year, a one mile allowance here on April 14, Faithfully, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by Smart Strike, picked up $42,300 for the win, increasing her earnings to $156,960. With the Santa Lucia being her first stakes win, her overall mark now stands at 8-3-4-0.
“We were in a good position early and I was very confident from the three eighths pole home,” said Bejarano. “She’s been training really good for Bob the last three weeks and I had a lot of confidence in her today.”
Ridden by Mike Smith, Street Surrender ran from off the pace and easily overtook Coppa a furlong out and finished second by a half length over Plastered. Off at 7-2, Street Surrender paid $4.00 and $2.60.
Ridden by apprentice Evin Roman, Plastered, who sat second most of the trip, finished 2 ¼ lengths clear of Coppa and paid $3.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.76, 47.22, 1:11.84 and 1:36.73.
Source: Santa Anita Park