Looking for Treasure in the Santa Ynez Stakes
By Reinier Macatangay, Lady and The
Races are sometimes confusing enough to consider skipping. The Santa
Ynez (GII), filled with three different Bob Baffert-trained fillies, is
difficult. Still, a quick rundown might lead to a few ideas.
From the rail, My Dynamo sports a 2
for 3 record sprinting on fast dirt. Her defeat came by 22 lengths in the Del
Mar Debutante (GI). Class handicappers will note the winner Songbird, who later
won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) without breaking a sweat. While she
can win, her form is unreliable.
Next to My Dynamo in the starting
gate, the double-digit longshot Rockantharos
seems set to gun for the lead for trainer Peter Miller. She also makes her
second career start, which is a dangerous angle. If no one else is sent early, Rockantharos is capable of wiring them.
Too many question marks for now though.
Two stalls down, Treasuring makes
her sixth career start. The daughter of Smart Strike and the blueblood mare
Teeming, Treasuring certainly owns a
pedigree to become a nice stakes horse. Unfortunately, her record seems
disappointing at first glance with only one win out of five starts.
Some readers will argue Treasuring
offers potential to move forward, but Treasuring
comes from a precocious dam named Teeming who won three out of four races. Furthermore,
Treasuring’s sibling Streaming won
her first two races. Both Streaming and Teeming retired early.
In addition, Baffert trains horses to win early, and if one struggles, it is
fair to question whether there is a rare “lemon” in his barn. Treasuring deserves another chance
because of the weak field. If she fails, perhaps a nice broodmare career
One Last Shot, who starts from the
fifth post position, owns one win and a second from two dirt efforts for
Baffert. The second-place finish came against My Dynamo. Pay no attention to the turf races.
Absolutely nothing stands out in One
Last Shot’s past performances. Yet, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who
selects his horses carefully, gives this filly a chance. Take it as a good
Of course, much attention will go to Baffert’s third entrant Pretty N Cool, who failed miserably as
the heavy favorite in the Desi Arnaz at Del Mar. Then she faded to fourth in
the two-turn Starlet (GI).
While a win by Pretty N Cool is
possible, it is not a good idea to completely trust a horse who failed to hit
the top three at short odds for two races in a row. Bettors will forgive the
Starlet fade too, as she cuts back to a sprint for this race. Include Pretty N Cool with other options, but
do not rely on her.
On the far outside, Forever Darling
returns after finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI).
Normally, bettors should avoid horses coming out of the Breeders’ Cup because
the public loves to bet down a well-known horse. In this case, the attention
will go towards the above three Baffert fillies.
Forever Darling won her second start
at the same distance and racetrack. The first start is entirely forgivable as a
learning experience. Do not underestimate her.
(vertical wagering plan with $100 bankroll): Treasuring, One Last Shot,
Pretty N Cool and Forever Darling over My Dynamo keyed in the second slot for
$25 exactas each.