October 26, 2020

Princess Noor the easiest of winners in Chandelier

Princess Noor
Princess Noor and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Chandelier Stakes (G2) © BENOIT PHOTO

Enduring only a few anxious moments when in a bit tight on the inside entering the first turn, 1-5 favorite Princess Noor otherwise proceeded to pummel her overmatched rivals in the $200,000 Chandelier Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita on Saturday. In doing so, she stamped her ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Keeneland and earned 10 qualifying points in the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Oaks prep.

Under Victor Espinoza, Princess Noor had to settle slightly off the pace after getting outrun early in the 1 1/16-mile test. Saving ground until the far turn when tipped out to make a three-wide bid, Princess Noor soon overtook pace-setting stablemate Illumination and opened up through the stretch under minimal urging. She crossed the wire 8 1/4 lengths in front and covered the distance in 1:45.59 over a fast track.

“When I saw Victor behind and he made that nice move before the three-eighths, you can only do that with a Ferrari under you,” said trainer Bob Baffert, who was winning the Chandelier for the 12th time.

Owned by Zedan Racing Stables, Princess Noor paid $2.40. The Baffert-trained Varda finished a clear second, with Miss Costa Rica edging Illumination late for third. Make Mischief trailed. The second- through fourth-place finishers earned Kentucky Oaks qualifying points of 4-2-1, respectively.

This was the third win in as many starts for Princess Noor, who won on debut by 2 1/4 lengths going 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on Aug. 22, and then came back on short rest to win the 7-furlong Del Mar Debutante (G1) by 6 1/2 lengths. She’s now earned $303,000.

A $1.35 million OBS April juvenile buy when last at auction, Princess Noor is by Not This Time and out of Grade 3 winner Sheza Smoke Show, by Wilko.