ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 1, 2018)–Fresh off a dazzling Grade I win Dec. 9 and unbeaten in three starts, Bob Baffert’s Dream Tree appears a complete standout in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita. For 3-year-old fillies at a flat mile, the Las Virgenes has attracted a field of six.
Owner: Phoenix Thoroughbred III Trainer: Bob Baffert
Favored in all three of her starts, she broke her maiden going six furlongs by a nose over Bill Spawr’s highly regarded Midnight Bisou on Oct. 27 and came back to defeat eventual graded stakes winning Midnight Bisou again by a nose in the seven furlong Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar Nov. 18. Off as the 2-5 favorite in the Grade I, 1 1/16 miles Starlet at Los Alamitos Dec. 9, she responded with a 3 ¼ length score and is strictly the horse to beat in the one mile Las Virgenes. A Kentucky-bred daughter of Uncle Mo, Dream Tree sold for $750,000 at the Fasig Tipton March 2-year-old in Training Sale and has pressed the early pace in all three of her wins. With regular rider Drayden Van Dyke set to ride her back Sunday, she’ll hope to use the Las Virgenes as a springboard to the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on April 7.
STEPH BEING STEPH
Owner: Blinkers On Racing Stable, Bennett, Callee, Georgetti, Harris, Lyons, et al. Trainer: Brian Koriner
Most recently second, beaten 4 ½ lengths by Midnight Bisou in the Grade II, seven furlong Santa Ynez Stakes Jan. 7, this Kentucky-bred filly by Majestic Warrior took the Golden Gate Debutante going six furlongs on synthetic Tapeta two starts back on Nov. 24, defeating Jeff Bonde’s She’s No Drama, who she’ll again face Saturday, by three quarters of a length. Second in the six furlong Anoakia Stakes here three starts back on Oct. 22, Steph Being Steph is 5-2-2-0 and should show good speed as she stretches out for the first time in the Las Virgenes. A $240,000 Florida 2-year-old in training sale purchase, she’s currently banked $112,145.
Owner: Arnold Zetcher, LLC Trainer: Bob Baffert
By the Indian Charlie stallion Liaison, she is owned and was bred in Kentucky by Arnold Zetcher, LLC. Baffert’s “Avis” entrant, Thirteen Squared comes off a 6 ¾ length maiden win going a flat mile at Los Alamitos on Dec. 7. Accomplished in gate to wire fashion, she earned a career-best 76 Beyer Speed figure in what was her fourth career start.
THE GRADE II LAS VIRGENES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 12:30 p.m. PT
- Thirteen Squared–Tyler Baze–120
- She’s No Drama–Kyle Frey–120
- Dream Tree–Drayden Van Dyke–124
- Exuberance–Corey Nakatani–120
- Steph Being Steph–Stewart Elliott–120
- Holy Diver–Cesar Franco–120
Special early first post for an nine-race card on Big Game Sunday at Santa Anita is at 11 a.m. Admission gates open at 9 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.