Sophomore Filly Ain’t Easy Back From Layoff In Sunday’s Santa Ysabel Stakes – Horse Racing News

Ain’t Easy scored an impressive Chandelier Stakes victory under Joel Rosario

Fresh off victory going seven furlongs, Under the Stars will stretch out for the first time as she heads a field of nine sophomore fillies going a mile and one sixteenth in the Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.

A six furlong maiden winner two starts back at Los Alamitos on Dec. 11, Under the Stars withstood intense pace pressure en route to a three quarter length win in the G2 Santa Ynez Stakes Jan. 8, a race in which she earned a Santa Ysabel-top Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Pioneerof the Nile out of the Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent, Under the Stars is trained by Bob Baffert and is owned by Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor. Never worse than third in four sprint starts and favored in three of them, she’ll be ridden for the third consecutive time by Flavien Prat.

Idle since romping to a 4 ¾ length tally in the G2 Chandelier Stakes at a mile and one sixteenth Oct. 1, Phil D’Amato’s Ain’t Easy could be in need of a race but nonetheless looms a formidable entrant with John Velazquez taking over for eastern-based Eclipse Champ Joel Rosario.

A 5 ¼ length first-out winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Aug. 21, Ain’t Easy, as expected pressed the early pace in the Chandelier and won with aplomb at 7-2. Owned by Old Bones Racing Stable, LLC, Michael Lombardi and Joey Platts, Ain’t Easy has five works on her tab dating back to Jan. 31, her most recent a six furlong move from the gate in 1:14.60 on Feb. 27.

By Into Mischief out of the Australian-bred mare Ameristalia, Ain’t Easy earned an 81 Beyer in winning the Chandelier.

Baffert’s second entrant Eda, who makes her first start of the year following a half length score in the G1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos on Dec. 4. The even money favorite, Eda forced the pace throughout, relinquished the lead by a half length late and battled back gamely for the victory, her third stakes win and fourth overall from six starts.

By Munnings out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Show Me, Eda has worked steadily for her return and will be ridden back by Juan Hernandez. Owned by Baoma Corporation, she’s been favored in four of her six starts and is the leading money earner in the field with $370,000.

THE GRADE 3 SANTA YSABEL WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 8 of 9 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT

  1. Desert Dawn—Umberto Rispoli—120
  2. Ain’t Easy—John Velazquez—124
  3. Miss Everything—Drayden Van Dyke—120
  4. Cairo Memories—Mike Smith—124
  5. Micro Share—Jessica Pyfer—120
  6. Fortunata Tensio—Abel Cedillo—120
  7. Eda—Juan Hernandez—124
  8. Classical Romance—Ryan Curatolo—120
  9. Under the Stars—Flavien Prat—120

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.

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