Runner-up to stablemate Varda in the Dec. 5 Starlet (G1) last out, Kalypso relished the cutback to one turn in Sunday’s $200,500 Santa Ynez Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita. The Bob Baffert trainee, who went off as the 9-10 favorite after Varda was scratched, led home another stablemate, Frosteria, in an exacta for the barn.
Kalypso was returning to the scene of her maiden-breaking score in the Oct. 18 Anoakia, where she flashed high speed in blinkers. She also zipped to the lead in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet, and those early exertions told as she grew weary and unable to hold off the late-running Varda.
With the blinkers off for the Santa Ynez, Kalypso still showed her natural quickness out of the gate. But when 30-1 longshot Brilliant Cut moved up on the rail to put her head in front, Kalypso proved tractable for Joel Rosario. The favorite was contentedly lapped alongside through the opening half-mile, then struck the front on the far turn, and forged ahead down the lane.
Kalypso crossed the wire 1 3/4 lengths clear while finishing 7 furlongs in 1:23.42. Adding 10 points toward the Kentucky Oaks (G1), along with her original 4 from the Starlet, she now has 14 points.
Frosteria was initially settled at the back of the pack with Baffert’s other runner, Exotic West. While Exotic West dropped further back, Frosteria closed well to overtake Brilliant Cut and earn 4 points in second. Baffert indicated that Frosteria, who is still a maiden, is likely to revert to maiden company next time.
Brilliant Cut kept on gamely in third, good for 2 points, in her first start off the claim for Doug O’Neill. Fourth-placer Queengol received 1 point. Nasreddine checked in fifth. Exotic West was last of the six-filly field, and Baffert believes she got discouraged by an early bump and the kickback of dirt in her face.
Kalypso improved her record to 5-2-2-1, $245,600. Owned by David A. Bernsen, Rockingham Ranch, and Chad Littlefield, the chestnut brought $240,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling.
Breeder Spendthrift Farm is the stud home of her young sire, Brody’s Cause, hero of the 2015 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and 2016 Blue Grass (G1). Kalypso’s dam, the Malibu Moon mare Malibu Cove, is a full sister to 2012 Tampa Bay Derby (G2) victor Prospective.
With a pedigree suggesting proficiency around two turns, Kalypso deserves another chance at a route. Baffert told Santa Anita publicity that she would get one.
“I would try her long again. As they get older, they are maturing. You can slow her down a little bit – like today, she was pretty relaxed.”