Champion female sprinter Gamine continued her triumphal march back to the Breeders’ Cup with a 10-length romp in Monday’s $200,000 Great Lady M S. (G2) at Los Alamitos. The 1-5 favorite broke on top and made it look easy as she remained unbeaten around one turn.
Under Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez, who made the cross-country trip to maintain his partnership with her, the Bob Baffert filly was flanked by rivals on either side early. The 3.30-1 second choice Edgeway was trying to press on her inside, while 45-1 longshot Road Rager attended on the outside.
Gamine led by a half-length after the opening quarter in :21.61. Edgeway offered her best challenge to draw even, and according to the chart, head the favorite between calls. But that effort was short-lived, for Gamine hurled her back on the far turn, and Edgeway was a spent force.
With her head cocked as she began to get away at the half in :44.32, Gamine opened up down the lane. Velazquez finally cajoled her into switching to her right lead in deep stretch, perhaps his only real work in an otherwise straightforward hand ride.
Gamine held sway in a deceptively fast 1:14.98. The daughter of Into Mischief was not far off the 6 1/2-furlong track record of 1:14.48 set by Finest City in the 2016 Great Lady M.
Bella Vita, the 22-1 second longest shot on the board, closed from last to collar Road Rager for second. Edgeway retreated to fourth. Baffert’s 12-1 shot Qahira, who was bumped a couple of times by Edgeway in the initial strides, was another nine lengths back at the rear. Candura, Dynasty of Her Own, and Eyes Open were scratched.
Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine is now 8-for-9 lifetime with $1,406,500 in earnings. During her Eclipse Award campaign in 2020, the bay crushed the one-mile Acorn S. (G1) by 18 3/4 lengths in a stakes-record 1:32.55, dominated the seven-furlong Test S. (G1) while tying the stakes record in 1:20.83, and established a new Keeneland track record of 1:20.20 when romping in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). Gamine made an effortless comeback in the April 4 Las Flores (G3) at Santa Anita, but had to work harder in the May 1 Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Gamine’s lone loss came in her only prior appearance at Churchill, a third in last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1). Her stakes credit was later stripped following a positive test for betamethasone. That’s the same substance found in Baffert’s Medina Spirit after his first-past-the-post in the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1).
Bred by Barbara Banke’s Grace Thoroughbred Holdings in Kentucky, Gamine is out of the stakes-placed Kafwain mare Peggy Jane. She first sold for $220,000 as a Keeneland September yearling to Grand Oaks before becoming a pinhook home run as a juvenile, topping the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale at $1.8 million.