QAHIRA STALKS PACE AND TAKES $75,000 KALOOKAN QUEEN STAKES BY ONE LENGTH AS ROSARIO & BAFFERT TEAM FOR 6 ½ FURLONG WIN IN 1:16.05
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2021)–Ridden with confidence by Joel Rosario, favored Qahira sat just off a pair of dueling leaders and rallied to an authoritative one length victory in Sunday’s $75,000 Kalookan Queen Stakes at Santa Anita. Trained by Bob Baffert, Qahira, a lightly raced 5-year-old mare by Cairo Prince, got 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.05.
Breaking from post position three, Qahira was a measured third, about 1 ½ lengths off dueling leaders Acting Out and Mo See Cal three furlongs out, took control approaching the quarter pole while three-deep and was hand-ridden to the wire.
“It went according to plan,” said Jim Barnes, assistant to Baffert. “Bob said to tell Joel to come out of there and try to get a good position. The way it worked out, those two fillies went and we were able to get outside of them. At the five sixteenths, Joel jumped on ’em and she was pretty impressive. Joel gave her a perfect ride.”
A close second as the 3-5 favorite in the Grade III Chillingworth Stakes going today’s distance here on Sept. 25, Qahira was off as the 3-2 favorite among a field of six older fillies and mares and paid $5.00, $3.00 and $2.40.
“…It looked like those couple of horses wanted to go ahead and go on with the speed, so I just sat right behind them a little bit and let her be happy where she was,” said Rosario, who is the meet’s leading winning rider with four added money wins through nine racing days. “She ran really well. Thanks to Baffert for the opportunity and thank God for everything.”
Owned by the Baoma Corporation, Qahira registered her first stakes win and her fifth win from eight career starts. With the winner’s share of $46,440, she increased her earnings to $205,400.
Amuse, who was last in a compact field from her rail post after the first quarter mile, rallied nicely for the place, finishing three quarters of a length better than the diminutive Biddy Duke. Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Amuse was off at 9-2 and paid $4.20 and $2.80.
Biddy Duke, next to last after the first half mile, finished five lengths clear of Mo See Cal and paid $3.60 to show with Umberto Rispoli up.
Fractions on the race 21.79, 44.56 and 1:09.56.
Racing resumes with an eight-race card on Friday. First post time is at 12:30 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.