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GAMINE Returns for the Las Flores Stakes

Horse Racing Radar
Rich Bieglmeier
Sunday, April 4, 2021

Current Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champion GAMINE returns to the track Sunday to begin her four-year-old campaign. She and three others will complete a thin field of four in the Grade III, Las Flores Stakes. The quarter of fillies and mares will run 6 furlongs on Santa Anita's main track for their share of the $100,000 jackpot and the Las Flores trophy.

Looking at the short field, it almost looks like a paid workout for GAMINE (PP: 1) as the oddsmaker lists her as 1/9 in the morning program. It's no wonder, sans her debut, all of her other five speed figures are higher than the max reading for the other three horse.

Minus something weird happening as it is horse racing, the question is not does GAMINE win, but by how many lengths? In her Breeders' Cup win, GAMINE ran the first 6 furlong of a 7 furlong race in 1:07 and 4. That's fast.

QAHIRA (PP: 2 M 5-1) is GAMINE's barn mate and also trained by Bob Baffert. In her last four races, three at 6 ½ furlongs and 7 furlongs in her last, QAHIRA has consistently run 6 furlongs in 1:09.2 or 109.3. If the five-year-old mare sticks to the number, then she'll finish about eight lengths behind GAMINE's 1:07.4.

HANG A STAR (PP: 3 ML 8-1) has been on the bench since late October 2020. She has very similar but slightly slower 6 furlong times as QAHIRA. The two met in Grade III, Chillingwoth Stakes. QAHIRA finished second about ¾ lengths ahead of fourth place HANG A STAR. Comparing their workouts, once again QAHIRA has the edge, nut not by a lot. If GAMINE runs another 1:07.4, then HANG A STAR would finish about 8 to 9 lengths behind and finish third by a about a length to QAHIRA.

BIDDY DUKE (PP: 4 ML 12-1) squared off with QAHIRA in her last two starts. She trailed at the end in both. Based on the 6 furlong times in the Santa Monica Stakes and the Kalookan Queen Stakes, BIDDY DUKE should cross the Las Flores close to 1:09.8. That would put the daughter of BAYERN about 2 ½ lengths behind the rest of the field.

Looking into our horseplayer's crystal ball, jockey John Velazquez puts GAMINE in the lead early while keeping contact with the field. She heads into the turn about a length ahead of the pack. She extends the lead a little in the turn, Velazquez urges her by hand into the stretch and doesn't ask for much more to the tape.

GAMINE wins by 3 to 5 lengths. QAHIRA tops HANG A STAR by a length as they come home second and third. Meanwhile, BIDDY DUKE crosses the line a clearly beaten fourth.

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