Kalypso, Moraz top small field in Santa Ysabel

Mar 05, 2021 Vance Hanson/Brisnet.com

Southern California lost arguably its best Kentucky Oaks (G1) prospect when Moonlight d'Oro exited a scintillating win in the last month's Las Virgenes (G3) with an injury. Who will replace her as leader of the local class of three-year-old fillies will be decided on Sunday when five will vie for top honors in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) at Santa Anita.

The most obvious candidates to fill the shoes are Kalypso and Moraz, who rounded out the placings in the Las Virgenes. Kalypso led that one-mile test for more than six furlongs before yielding to Moonlight d'Oro by 1 1/2 lengths. The Bob Baffert trainee had previously captured two sprint stakes, the Anoakia and the Santa Ynez (G2).

Moraz rated in third much of the way in the Las Virgenes, but couldn't make much impact late due to the moderate tempo set by Kalypso. She finished third by 3 1/4 lengths in what was her first outing after romping to an 11-length maiden win.

Baffert has two other fillies in the 1 1/16-mile Santa Ysabel. Beautiful Gift placed behind Kalypso in a maiden event at Del Mar last summer and followed up with a half-length victory going a mile over the Santa Anita strip. The Medaglia d'Oro concedes recency, though, having not run since that Oct. 23 graduation.

The other Baffert entry, Heels Up, was a distant third in the Desi Arnaz S. at Del Mar when last seen in mid-November. The short field is rounded out by A Real Hero, who beat males in breaking her maiden at Golden Gate last time, which followed a distant placing behind Moraz in early January.

The Santa Ysabel will award Kentucky Oaks qualifying points of 50-20-10-5 to the respective top four finishers. Post time is 5 p.m. (ET), which comes before the close of the 2021 Kentucky Oaks Future Wager (KOFW) at 6:30 p.m. It can be watched and wagered on at TwinSpires.com.

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