May 20, 2022

Chasing Yesterday to face five in Starlet

Chasing Yesterday, beaten favorite in the Spinaway, rebounded in the Anoakia to make half-brother American Pharoah proud © BENOIT PHOTO

Chasing Yesterday exits back-to-back stakes wins and the half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah will try to carry her momentum forward when she lines up for Saturday’s $300,000 Starlet (G1) at Los Alamitos. One of two entrants for Bob Baffert, the Tapit filly and jockey Drayden Van Dyke will meet five rivals.

The 1 1/16-mile Starlet will award 17 combined points to the top four finishers (10-4-2-1) as a Road to the Kentucky Oaks series qualifier.

A smart 4 1/4-length debut winner at Del Mar, Chasing Yesterday sustained her lone defeat when shipping to Saratoga to finish seventh in the Spinaway (G1) second time out. The chestnut lass rebounded with a game score in the October 14 Anoakia at Santa Anita and continued to move forward with a convincing tally in the November 12 Desi Arnaz at Del Mar, overcoming a bobbling start to win going away by a 1 1/2-length margin. Chasing Yesterday will look to employ stalk-and-pounce tactics in her first two-turn appearance.

Baffert, a four-time Starlet winner including last year’s edition with Dream Tree, will also send out Mother Mother, who was last seen leading wire-to-wire in the October 28 Rags to Riches at Churchill Downs. The $450,000 Pioneerof the Nile filly opened her racing career with a 6 1/2-length maiden romp at Del Mar and finished second in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) two back. Florent Geroux keeps the mount on the front-runner.

Vibrance has thrived for Mike McCarthy since stretching out to two turns, breaking her maiden prior to a runner-up in the Chandelier (G1), and the Violence filly registered a field-best 96 BRIS Speed rating when posting a respectable third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). She leads the field in BRIS Prime Power (145.1) and adds top Southern California pilot Flavien Prat.

Oxy Lady rates as a dangerous invader. A Belterra Park maiden winner and third at long odds when trying allowance foes at Keeneland, the Jack Sisterson trainee relished the addition of blinkers when romping by five lengths in the November 2 Tempted (G3) at Aqueduct. Overlooked at 36-1 last time, the Oxbow filly will be a much shorter price Saturday and Declan Cannon will be in to ride.

Enaya Alrabb loses Prat following a 2 1/2-length maiden special weight victory at Santa Anita, but Doug O’Neill has tabbed an able replacement in Mike Smith. O’Neill is also responsible for Sold It, who will switch back to the main track following a turf maiden score on November 15.