October 3, 2023

Bast cuts back as heavy favorite in Santa Ynez

Bast defeating Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Donna Veloce in the Starlet © BENOIT PHOTO

A probable finalist for champion 2-year-old filly honors, Bast has posted wins a pair of Grade 1 wins and a third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) in her last three starts at 1 1/16 miles. The Bob Baffert-trained filly will be the one to beat when she cuts back to 7-furlongs for Sunday’s $200,000 Santa Ynez (G2) at Santa Anita.

A Road to the Kentucky Oaks series qualifier, the Santa Ynez awards points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers toward a berth in the Run for the Lillies. Bast already ranks second on the Kentucky Oaks Leaderboard with 24 points, and she notched a field-best 96 Brisnet Speed rating posting a half-length decision in a salty edition of the December 7 Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos most recently.

A daughter of Uncle Mo, Bast has proven efficient at the distance, romping by 8 3/4 lengths in the 7-furlong Del Mar Debutante (G1), and she is one of three entrants from Baffert in the seven-horse field. Drayden Van Dyke will be up.

Baffert will also send out debut maiden winners Auberge and Golden Principal.

Auberge posted an impressive front-running score going 6-furlongs at Santa Anita October 27, registering a 93 Brisnet Speed rating winning as the 7-10 favorite, and the $570,000 Palace filly will pick up Flavien Prat for her second start.

Golden Principal hails from hot first-crop sire Constitution, and the dark bay filly showed speed from the start winning her lone outing by 1 1/2 lengths at Del Mar November 30. She was favored at 1-2 in the 6-furlong test, and Mike Smith takes over the reins.

Jeff Mullins will be represented by the duo of K P Dreamin and Orquidias Biz. K P Dreaming will add blinkers off a non-threatening third to Bast in the Starlet, and the chestnut daughter of Union Rags also finished third in the Chandelier (G1) three back. Ruben Fuentes rides. Orquidias Biz broke her maiden in Santa Anita turf sprint and exits a runner-up in the November 10 Desi Arnaz at Del Mar. The Fed Biz filly adds the services of Joel Rosario.

Lovely Lilia broke her maiden by a 15-length margin at Santa Anita, and the chestnut exits an entry-level allowance tally at Del Mar. Abel Cedillo will pilot the Animal Kingdom filly for Phil D’Amato. Last-out maiden winner Paige Anne rounds out the field.