After overwhelming three overmatched fillies and mares in the Las Flores Stakes (G3) to open her season, champion female sprinter Gamine will return to deeper waters in the Derby City Distaff Presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (G1) May 1 at Churchill Downs.
But based on past form, Gamine may still find those deeper waters to her liking.
Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine posted a perfect record in her three one-turn races at the grade 1 level last season, winning those top-level events by a combined 32 lengths. That stretch opened with a pair of victories over other 3-year-old fillies: an 18 3/4-length score June 20 in the Longines Acorn Stakes going the one-turn mile at Belmont Park, followed by a seven-length score in the Longines Test Stakes Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course.
After a third-place finish going two turns in the 1 1/8-mile Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), Gamine returned to sprinting and closed out the season in spectacular fashion. Facing older fillies and mares for the first time, the daughter of Into Mischief drew off in the stretch of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland for a 6 1/4-length victory.
Since the Las Flores April 4 at Santa Anita Park, Gamine has worked twice for trainer Bob Baffert, including an April 24 six-furlong move in 1:13, earning the bullet from four workers at the distance.
On Saturday, regular rider John Velazquez will be aboard Gamine, who was installed as the 1-5 morning-line favorite.
Bob Baffert has Gamine tuned up for the Derby City Distaff Stakes
Also signed up among the other five fillies and mares entered for Saturday’s seven-furlong test is Lothenbach Stables’ Bell’s the One , who enters off a runner-up finish to Kimari in the Madison Stakes (G1) April 3 at Keeneland. That effort marked the seasonal debut for the 5-year-old Majesticperfection mare, who closed out last season with a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Trained by Neil Pessin, Bell’s the One captured the 2019 Lexus Raven Run Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. She also won the Winning Colors Stakes (G3) the following year at Churchill, going six furlongs.
Rounding out the field are Madison Stakes runner-up Estilo Talentoso , Sconsin , who won last year’s edition of the Eight Belles Stakes Presented by TwinSpires.com (G2) for 3-year-old fillies at this distance at Churchill; Hibiscus Punch , who enters off a clear victory in the seven-furlong Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G3) Feb. 20 at Laurel Park; and Unique Factor , who ran second last fall in the McConnell Springs Stakes at Keeneland.
Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 01, 2021, Race 7
- Grade I
- 4 yo’s & up Fillies and Mares
- 1:56 PM (local)