Bred to be a star as a Tapit half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, Chasing Yesterday fueled those hopes with a 4 1/4-length debut victory in Del Mar’s 1ST race on Saturday.
The Summer Wind Equine homebred sported a series of strong works for Pharoah’s trainer, Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, and bettors accordingly hammered her into 1-5 favoritism. Chasing Yesterday broke alertly from the outside post 7 and flashed speed, but Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith preferred to let rail-drawn rival Honeyfromthesouth lead the way.
Shadowing in second through a swift opening quarter in :21.88, Chasing Yesterday readily drew up to Honeyfromthesouth at the half in :45.34 and took command swinging into the stretch. Smith did no more than keep her focused as she cleared away with authority. Chasing Yesterday posted the five-furlong split in :57.75 and completed the 5 1/2-furlong dash in 1:04.44.
Honeyfromthesouth, like the winner a Del Mar Debutante (G1) nominee, was all alone in second. A further 7 1/4 lengths adrift in third came Culver Miss, who promises to build on this quiet introduction for trainer Tom Proctor.
Chasing Yesterday aims to do better than the other American Pharoah siblings to win for Baffert at Del Mar. Pharoah’s full sister, American Cleopatra, likewise scored in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden in late July 2016 and went on to place second in the Del Mar Debutante, but the Zayat homebred was well beaten in her two subsequent starts and called it a career.
Another full sibling to Pharoah, St Patrick’s Day, broke his maiden second time out here last summer, only to meet with a setback. His Coolmore owners transferred him to Aidan O’Brien in Ireland, where the sophomore made a belated return to action at the Curragh. After a comeback third in the June 30 Celebration S., St Patrick’s Day checked in fifth in the July 21 The Minstrel (G2).
Summer Wind purchased their dam, Littleprincessemma, for $2.1 million (while carrying St Patrick’s Day) at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November Sale. Chasing Yesterday is her first foal from a mating planned by the Summer Wind team. Littleprincessemma was then bred back to Pharoah’s sire, Pioneerof the Nile, and produced a now-yearling colt named Theprinceofthebes. Her current foal is by Tapit and thus a full brother to Chasing Yesterday. Born on February 27, he has already been named Triple Tap.