A cutback in distance, coupled with an unencumbered trip, proved more than sufficient to propel Kalypso to a comfortable victory in the $200,500 Santa Ynez (G2) on Sunday at Santa Anita.
The 7-furlong sprint served as a “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” qualifier awarding 10 points to the winner, and bettors made the right decision backing Kalypso to 9-10 favoritism. Trained by Bob Baffert, the daughter of Brody’s Cause entered the Santa Ynez off a runner-up effort in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos, where she carved out the pace before succumbing in the final furlong.
Kalypso had previously prevailed in the 6-furlong Anoakia S. at Santa Anita, and she clearly enjoyed returning to a one-turn configuration in the Santa Ynez. Under the guidance of jockey Joel Rosario, Kalypso broke on top and quickly assumed a forward position, pressing 30-1 longshot Brilliant Cut through fractions of :22.53 and :45.13. Racing wide allowed Kalypso to avoid a significant amount of jostling and bumping going on behind the leaders,
“She broke good and put me right into the race, in a good position,” Rosario told Santa Anita,
At the top of the stretch, Rosario asked Kalypso for her best effort, and the chestnut filly responded readily. Grinding past Brilliant Cut through 6 furlongs in 1:10.18, Kalypso edged clear through a :13.24 final furlong to beat her stretch-running, Baffert-trained stablemate Frosteria by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:23.42.
Brilliant Cut held on to finish third, well clear of Queengol, Nasreddine, and Exotic West. The latter—also representing Baffert—took the worst of the backstretch bumping and steadily weakened to trail the field.
Bred by Spendthrift Farm, Kalypso was produced by the Malibu Moon mare Malibu Cove. Sold for $240,000 as a yearling, Kalypso races for the partnership of David A. Bernsen, Rockingham Ranch, and Chad Littlefield.
“She has natural speed and she’s a really fast filly,” said Baffert. “She had the lead for a long time in the (Starlet), backing up it’s a big difference to go seven-eighths. The way she broke today, she was in a good spot and she was really training well coming into this race so it’s pretty exciting that she got a win.”
Future plans for Kalypso have yet to be determined, though Baffert didn’t rule out the possibility of stretching the improving filly back out in distance.
“I would try her long again, as they get older they are maturing. You can slow her down a little bit like today she was pretty relaxed. She wasn’t too rank where she went real fast but we’ll just see how they come out of it.”
In the meantime, Kalypso has advanced to fourth place on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks leaderboard, with a total of 14 points to her credit. The next California leg of the series is the one-mile Las Virgenes (G3) on Feb. 6 at Santa Anita.