April 23, 2024

Gamine looms as heavy favorite in Great Lady M.

Gamine, with John Velazquez up, wins the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. May 1, 2021. Photography by Jamie Newell.

Great Lady M. S. (G2) — Race 8 (7:28 p.m. ET)

Plying her trade where she can while remaining under the care of Bob Baffert, female sprint champion Gamine looms as an overwhelming favorite in Monday’s $200,000 Great Lady M. S. (G2) at Los Alamitos over 6 1/2 furlongs.

A winner of seven of her eight career starts, including six around one turn, the daughter of Munnings started her 2021 campaign with back-to-back wins in the Las Flores (G3) and Derby City Distaff (G1). While the former was done by five lengths against overmatched rivals, Gamine had to work a bit to prevail in the latter feature at Churchill Downs by 1 1/2 lengths. However, the form was immediately flattered by the subsequent stakes victories turned in by Sconsin and Estilo Talentoso, who finished second and third, respectively.

Eight were entered the Great Lady M., but most of the others would need a combination of serious progression on their part, and serious regression on the part of Gamine, to upset. The leading challenger appears to be Edgeway, a John Sadler-trained filly who’s won four of six starts. The daughter of Competitive Edge earned her first stakes win in three tries last out in the April 18 Carousel S. at Oaklawn Park, in which she defeated multiple graded stakes winner Frank’s Rockette by three parts of a length. Sadler has also entered Candura, a multiple allowance winner at Oaklawn.

Baffert, too, has an additional Great Lady M. contender in Qahira, whose second to Gamine in the Las Flores was her third placing at graded level.

The Great Lady M. honors the seven-time stakes winner of the late 1970s who twice won in stakes company at Los Alamitos and was later the dam of 1986 Horse of the Year Lady’s Secret, a Hall of Fame daughter of Secretariat.