$100,000 LAS FLORES BELONGS TO BAFFERT AS GILDED GEM DEFEATS STABLEMATE SUBSIDIZED IN GRADE III SPRINT, ON-TRACK CROWD OF 22,750 AT GREAT RACE PLACE

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 2, 2011) – The three entrants saddled by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert thoroughly impacted Santa Anita’s 59th running of the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for fillies and mares on Saturday as 5-2 second choice Gilded Gem defeated 9-2 stablemate Subsidized by 1 ¼ lengths.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Gilded Gem, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare by Smarty Jones and a half sister to 2010 Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer, made a sweeping move around the far turn when rallying from last to score decisively while racing the 6 ½-furlong distance in 1:15.22. The field size was reduced to five when Candy’s Pleasure was scratched by veterinarians after acting up in the starting gate.

The third of Baffert’s three entrants, 17-10 favorite Mother Ruth set all the pace into the stretch before tiring to finish fourth behind Silver Swallow.

The victory provided Gilded Gem with atonement for a half-length loss to Mother Ruth in Santa Anita’s Kalookan Queen Stakes on Jan. 7. It also helped to make up for a sixth-place finish in last year’s Las Flores.

“I moved a little early last time,” said Rosario. “Today, I took my time and she responded well. She’s the kind of horse that wants to come from a little bit off the pace. I just let her relax and find her stride.”

Mother Ruth, with Martin Garcia in the saddle, sped to an early advantage and led by two lengths entering the stretch before giving way. Subsidized, handled by Rafael Bejarano, gained the place by a neck over Silver Swallow and jockey Mike Smith. Mother Ruth crossed the wire a head behind Silver Swallow.

The winner paid $7.20, $3.60 and $2.40. Subsidized paid $5 and $3.20. The show price on Silver Swallow was $3.

“I thought Mother Ruth was going to keep going, but she started getting tired at the end,” Baffert said afterward. “Gilded Gem likes to sit way back there. Rosario fits her well. He’s a very patient rider.

“The other filly (Subsidized) ran well to get up for second. We’d have liked to be one, two, three, but we’ll take it at one-two.”

Lightly raced, Gilded Gem is owned by Thomas Gaines, Olin Gentry and Richard Nip. Gilded Gem’s first graded stakes victory was worth $60,000. It elevated her career earnings to $223,800 from a 4-4-0 record in 10 lifetime starts.

The Grade II, $150,000 Potrero Grande Stakes at 6 ½ furlongs heads Sunday’s nine-race program at Santa Anita with first post at 12:30 p.m.

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