Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman’s Pretty N Cool hadn’t been seen in the afternoon for six months, but she returned in spectacular fashion on Sunday, sprinting away from her rivals to win the G3 Las Flores Stakes by nearly two lengths. The 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy, ridden by Martin Garcia, covered six furlongs over Santa Anita’s fast main track in 1:10.49 for trainer Bob Baffert to win the third graded stake of her career.
“She was ready today and I think this is her best distance, six furlongs,” Garcia said. “She has a lot of natural speed.”
Pretty N Cool broke sharply in the five-horse field, then allowed Garcia to take her back just off the pace of Sensitively for the run down the backstretch. The rain picked up shortly after the runners left the starting gate, obscuring visibility just a bit. Pretty N Cool was between Sensitively on her inside and favorite Constellation on the outside, but Constellation gave the two frontrunners about three-quarters of a length after a first quarter in :21.88.
Nearing the three-eighths pole, Pretty N Cool made her move around the outside, easily taking the lead from Sensitively around the far turn. She recorded the half-mile split in 44.63 seconds before bursting away by two lengths at the head of the lane. Ponder Lea made a big move up the rail to be second at that point, and Constellation seemed to be spinning her wheels a bit in an effort to get to the leaders.
Pretty N Cool continued to extend her lead down the stretch, and though she appeared to tire just a bit at the sixteenth pole was able to maintain a winning margin of about two lengths over the steadily-closing Constellation. Ponder Lea had to settle for third, and Watch This Cat was a distant fourth.
“If you look at her work pattern, she was ready to run today and Bobby is pretty good off the layoff,” said co-owner Pegram. “With this rain, this was one for the love of the game!”
Bred in Kentucky by Nancy C. Shuford, Pretty N Cool was a $ 160,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase. She won her debut, then immediately scored in the G2 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar. She was just short to finish second behind Songbird in the G1 Del Mar Debutante, then came back to win the G2 Matron Stakes. After that, her form tailed off a bit, and a six-month layoff saw her return to win a listed stake. Two more starts saw her tail off again, and another six-month layoff allowed her to return to the races in spectacular fashion, winning today’s Las Flores. Overall, Pretty N Cool boasts a record of five wins from 11 starts, for earnings of just under $ 500,000.
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