ARCADIA, Calif. (March 14, 2012) – Late-blooming 5-year-old Ellafitz will aim for a career high note as well as her fourth straight stakes victory Saturday when facing five challengers in Santa Anita’s Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes, the season’s racing highlight for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.
“She’s in a zone right now,” trainer Bob Baffert said of the bay daughter of Tiznow who did not win her first stakes race until last Dec. 11 when taking the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in her 12th start. Moving to Santa Anita, Ellafitz promptly followed with impressive victories in the Paseana Handicap and the Grade II Santa Maria on Feb. 18.
She clearly made a believer of Baffert. “Ellafitz runs hard, she runs fast,” he said. “Last time (Santa Maria), they took all kinds of shots at her. She took a lot of heat and kept going. They sent a rabbit out there, but my mare is doing better for this race than she was before the last race.”