Currently second on the Kentucky Oaks (G1) leaderboard, Bast would leap to the top spot with a victory in Sunday’s $200,000 Santa Ynez (G2). The Santa Anita feature offers points on a scale of 10-4-2-1 to the top four finishers, and Bast (24 points) is just six behind British Idiom’s tally of 30.
The Bob Baffert trainee is by far the class of the field, with a trio of Grade 1 laurels in the Del Mar Debutante (G1), Chandelier (G1), and most recently the Starlet (G1). Bast was also a better-than-appears third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to British Idiom. Interestingly, she’d be cutting back in trip to 7 furlongs here, reverting to one turn for the first time since Del Mar. The 124-pound highweight with Drayden Van Dyke aboard, Bast is drawn on the outside in post 7.
Baffert is triple-handed in the Santa Ynez, and his other two fillies, both smart debut winners at 6 furlongs, will break from the inside. Auberge, a $570,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May juvenile purchase, flashed high speed when drawing 7 3/4 lengths clear in her premiere at Santa Anita Oct. 27. Flavien Prat picks up the mount. Golden Principal, a $200,000 OBS April 2-year-old by hot sire Constitution, chased before pouncing in her unveiling at Del Mar Nov. 30. In post 2 next to rail-drawn Auberge, Golden Principal gets Hall of Famer Mike Smith.
Jeff Mullins sends out a pair. K P Dreamin, third to Bast in the Chandelier and Starlet, now adds blinkers in hopes of improvement. Stablemate Orquidias Biz, a rallying second in the 6 1/2-furlong Desi Arnaz S. last out, gets extra ground in this spot.
The Simon Callaghan-trained Paige Anne, who broke her maiden in gritty fashion at Los Alamitos, was runner-up two back to well-regarded Mundaye Call. Lovely Lilia has won her past two for Phil D’Amato but versus much lesser company.
Post time for the Santa Ynez, Sunday’s 7TH race, is 6:30 p.m. (EST), and you can watch and wager on TwinSpires.com.