Eda and Juan Hernandez (right) hold off favored Under the Stars in the Santa Ysabel
Fresh off the bench, Baoma Corporation’s Eda, idle since Dec. 4, sped to the lead under Juan Hernandez and had plenty left in the tank late as she held off her heavily favored stablemate Under the Stars by a half length in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Trained by Bob Baffert, Eda got 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.31.
Breaking sharply from the number seven post position, Eda made the lead with her ears up and dictated terms with Hernandez sitting still to the quarter pole. At that point, he held his position in the two path as Ain’t Easy challenged from the inside and Under the Stars loomed on her outside.
“She was comfortable the whole race, she broke really sharp today and I got a good position,” said Hernandez, who had ridden the filly to victory in the G1Santa Ysabel Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 4. “I was outside and when she broke like that, I just came to the rail and just let her run. I asked her around the quarter pole when I felt the inside horse and the outside horse closing in. I told her it was time to go and she picked it up pretty good.”
A three-time stakes winner coming into today, Eda was off as the third choice in the wagering at 3-1 and paid $8.60, $4.00 and $2.60.
A $550,000 March 2021 2-year-old in training sale purchase, Eda is by Munnings out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Show Me. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $430,000 and her overall mark to 7-5-1-0.
“Both of my fillies were training really well and I was debating whether to run her, there was another spot,” said Baffert. “It was either run here or go to Sunland Park. I thought, well, we’ll keep her here. She worked well coming into this and I’m happy both of my horses ran well…I don’t know where I’m going to run them next. We’ll definitely be in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2, April 9) with someone, but I don’t know yet.”
Off at even money with Flavien Prat, Under the Stars didn’t appear to have any excuses as she finished second, 3 ¾ lengths in front of Ain’t Easy to return $2.60 and $2.10.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Ain’t Easy checked in a length clear of fourth-place finisher Desert Dawn. The actual second choice at 3-1, Ain’t Easy paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.62, 48.05, 1:12.48 and 1:37.75.
With Baffert horses not eligible to earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks due to the Churchill Downs ban on the trainer due to the Medina Spirit positive in the 2021 Kentucky Derby, the only horses earning points were the third- and fourth-place finishers, who earned 10 and five points, respectively.
Updated Kentucky Derby/Oaks Leaderboard