A half-sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, Jane Lyon's homebred Chasing Yesterday is continuing to live up to the lofty expectations of her pedigree. Already a Grade 1 winner, the 3-year-old daughter of Tapit made her 2019 debut in Sunday's $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks. The 1-9 favorite broke slowly under Drayden Van Dyke, was five-wide around the first turn and also wide into the straight but managed to win by about 1 1/2 lengths.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Chasing Yesterday completed 1 1/16 miles over Sunland Park's fast main track in 1:43.18. The victory earned her 50 points and a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Oaks.
The horse next to her in the starting gate acted up just before the start, perhaps distracting Chasing Yesterday from the task at hand. After spotting the field about three lengths at the start, Chasing Yesterday was a bit rank when Van Dyke tried to hold her behind rivals. He wound up swinging her five wide as the field bent into the clubhouse turn.
It was a bit of a strangely run race, with no filly clearly wanting the lead through moderate early fractions of :24.17 and :48.00. There were four across the track down the backstretch, with Figure against the rail, then K P Slickem, Enlisting, and Chasing Yesterday four-wide.
Past the half-mile pole Chasing Yesterday started to tug toward the front while three-wide, and she inched away from her rivals as the field turned for home.
Down the stretch Chasing Yesterday dug in stubbornly to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths over K P Slickem, while Backflash checked in third.
Lyon purchased the filly's dam, Littleprincessemma (Yankee Gentleman), for $2.1 million at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall sale, just after American Pharoah won the G1 Del Mar Futurity and G1 Frontrunner. She was in foal to Pioneerof the Nile at that time, producing a colt named St Patrick's Day, and Lyon bred her back to Tapit the following year, resulting in Chasing Yesterday.
The filly broke her maiden on debut in July, but finished seventh when shipped to Saratoga for the G1 Spinaway. Chasing Yesterday has not been defeated since, including a win in the G1 Starlet last December. Overall, her record stands at five wins from six starts for earnings of nearly $440,000.
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