Nothing Like You drew off to a 5 1/4-length victory in Saturday’s $200,500 Starlet (G2) at Los Alamitos, continuing Bob Baffert’s stranglehold upon the 1 1/16-mile event for two-year-old fillies. The Hall of Fame trainer recorded his seventh consecutive win, extending his record to 10 in the former Hollywood Park fixture, and Juan Hernandez delivered the winning ride.
By Malibu Moon, Nothing Like You notched her third consecutive win while making her first graded appearance. The bay filly needed four starts to graduate, breaking through when stretching to two turns in mid-October maiden special weight at Santa Anita, and she was exiting a rallying nose score in the seven-furlong Desi Arnaz S. at Del Mar on Nov. 18.
“It took this filly a while to come around,” Baffert said. “She wasn’t real quick. We knew once we stretched her out that would be her game. The longer the better for her.’’
Nothing Like You has led all the way in both starts at two turns. She left the starting gate as the 2.10-1 third choice among six rivals and was hustled forward from her rail post, contesting the early pace with 9-5 favorite Chatalas and 29-1 outsider Great Forty Eight through opening fractions in :23.24 and :47.40.
“She’s improving with every race and distance is what she has always wanted,’’ Hernandez said. “She relaxed perfectly. I let her go at the head of the stretch and she took off.’’
Nothing Like You began to extend her advantage on the far turn and dominated through the Los Alamitos stretch, winning under wraps in 1:44.78.
Great Forty Eight bore out into Chatalas in midstretch and finished a clear second, 4 1/4 lengths better than 17-1 Flynn’s Chance. It was another two lengths to Chatalas, and Pacific Rose and 9-5 second choice Grazia came next under the wire.
Stewards initiated an inquiry into the stretch and ruled that Great Forty Eight’s interference cost Chatalas the opportunity for a better placing, disqualifying Great Forty Eight and placing her fourth behind Flynn’s Chance and Chatalas.
The Starlet offered qualifying points to the top five finishers (10-5-3-2-1 scale) as a Road to the Kentucky Oaks qualifier, but Nothing Like You isn’t eligible for points due to Baffert being suspended by Churchill Downs.
Owned by Georgia Antley Hunt, Jeff Giglio, and John Rogitz, Nothing Like You was purchased for $190,000 at the OBS April two-year-old sale. She hails from multiple stakes winner Miss Derek, a daughter of Brother Derek, and this is the immediate female family of multiple stakes victor and 2001 Haskell (G1) runner-up Touch Tone.