Gamine, the reigning champion female sprinter, kicks off her four-year-old campaign on Easter Sunday in the $100,000 Las Flores S. (G3) at Santa Anita.
A dazzling winner of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), Acorn (G1), and Test (G1) last season, Gamine will be a prohibitive favorite in the six-furlong dash and most bettors will be using her as a “free square” in multi-race wagers.
Only three other fillies and mares were rounded up to face the Bob Baffert-trained champion, including stablemate Qahira. The lightly-raced five-year-old won the Kalookan Queen S. two back and placed third in the Santa Monica (G2) last time to another stablemate, Merneith.
Biddy Duke, who captured the Senator Ken Maddy (G3) on grass last fall, might have the early foot to stay with Gamine for a brief time. Her lack of stamina has been evident in three starts since the Maddy, though.
The field is rounded out by Hang a Star, who placed in the Desert Stormer (G3) last May but has gone unplaced in four subsequent outings in graded company.