Crack filly Bast dazzles for Baffert in Del Mar Debutante
When Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert says he has a runner ready to rumble, his owners listen.
That is why Charlie Chu of Baoma Corporation hopped on a plane from Hong Kong and arrived at Del Mar just a few hours before two-year-old Bast, who had yet to break her maiden, was sent out in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes.
The Uncle Mo filly made the trip worthwhile when she soared to her first win by just shy of nine lengths, collected her first Graded victory, and scored at the top level with a dazzling turn of foot.
Wearing blinkers for her second start and with Drayden Van Dyke back in the saddle, 5-2 shot Bast turned the tables on 7-5 favourite Inspiressa after losing to that rival at first asking in a maiden special at Del Mar in early August.
"She really needed the first out, and I wanted to get a race in her so we could run in the Debutante," said Baffert, who collected his eighth Debutante success. "She came back and worked extremely well. I just put a little blinker on her to keep her a little more focused.
"The way she worked after that maiden race was a phenomenal work. She worked in 1:12 like a good horse. We'll definitely look at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and races like that down the road."
Inspiressa grabbed the lead after dueling for it early, but Bast swung four wide into the stretch and easily took over.
"I had a ton of horse all the way," Van Dyke said. "She broke good and when they all rushed up there, I just took a hold and sat back. She was focused today. The addition of those blinkers helped. Good horsemanship by Bob. She was cruising at the end—very impressive."
Inspiressa held for second, and Comical was a half-length back in third.
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