Trainer Bob Baffert made it six consecutive victories in the $300,000 Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos when Kentucky-bred Faiza fended off a stretch-long challenge from Pride of the Nile to score in the 1 1/16-mile test for juvenile fillies.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Faiza was trying two turns just four weeks after a stylish debut win at six furlongs at Del Mar. The 2-year-old daughter of Girvin raced just off the pace set by stablemate Doinitthehardway early. She moved up on the outside of rivals to take the lead with less than a quarter of a mile to run and then repelled a stubborn and game Pride of the Nile in the late stages to prevail by a neck at the finish.
Owned by Michael Lund Petersen, Faiza was a $725,000 purchase earlier this year at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale. She is produced from the Smart Strike mare Sweet Pistol and was bred in the Bluegrass by Brereton C. Jones.
“To win this race this many times is a tribute to the clientele I have and a great staff that works with me,” said Baffert. “It’s a team effort.
“(Faiza) has always shown she’s a special filly, and she had to be special today to win off just one maiden race,” Baffert added. “She’s still green, but I think she has a big future in front of her. I think she’s going to get better with age, but we’ve loved her from the start and she’s by one of the hottest sires going right now.”
Baffert’s previous Starlet wins at Los Alamitos were Dream Tree (2017), Chasing Yesterday (2018), Bast (2019), Varda (2020), and Eda last year.
Prat added of Faiza, “She traveled well the entire way. She switched leads at the head of the stretch and there was a little bumping, but I really didn’t feel anything. Both her (and runner-up Pride of the Nile) ran very hard to the wire.”