Jane Lyon's Chasing Yesterday, the half-sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah, scored her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday's Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos. The juvenile daughter of Tapit had to work hard to hit the wire first; after being forced four-wide on both turns, she ran down both Enaya Alrabb and her stablemate Mother Mother to cross the finish a head in front. Favored at 7-5, Chasing Yesterday and jockey Drayden Van Dyke completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.59.
“Those two fillies inside her (runner-up Enaya Alrabb and third place finisher Mother Mother) both ran super, but my filly dug in and just kept coming,” said Van Dyke. “She really showed us she's a half-sister to American Pharoah. Winning two Grade I races in the same day is amazing.''
In addition to scoring 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks, Chasing Yesterday gave trainer Bob Baffert his fifth overall win in the Starlet, following Dream Tree (2017), Streaming (2013), Habibti (2001), and and Excellent Meeting (1998).
Making her first start beyond seven furlongs, Chasing Yesterday, who was also ridden by Van Dyke, prevailed by a head over 30-1 shot Enaya Alrabb. Despite a very wide journey, the half-sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah was able to score for the fourth time in five outings.
Mother Mother, the other Baffert trainee and pacesetter, finished third, a neck behind Enaya Alrabb, who making her first start since defeating maidens going one mile Oct. 25, as the 5-2 third choice.
Enaya Alrabb, who was ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, paid $15.80 and $4.60 while the show price on Mother Mother was $2.80.
“We thought Mother Mother would be on the lead and I told (jockey Florent Geroux) just try to nurse her along,” Bafffert said. “(Chasing Yesterday) was so wide. Turning for home, I really thought Mother Mother was going to kick on and keep going. It was a really thrilling finish. I didn't (Chasing Yesterday) was going to get there because she had been so wide. She's a nice filly, but (jockey Drayden Van Dyke) really sat patient. He loves this filly and he had a lot of confidence in her. This kid is like (Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick) Mahomes. He's smart and has a lot of natural talent. Pretty nice to get a Grade I win with American Pharoah's (half) sister.''
Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Chasing Yesterday is out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma. Lyon purchased the mare for $2.1 million at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed Sale, and Chasing Yesterday was her 2016 foal. The filly has now won four of her five career starts, earning $324,250.
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