Spendthrift Farm’s Callback battled to a front-running, half-length tally in Saturday’s $300,000 Las Virgenes S. (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
The 3-year-old filly is Bob Baffert’s first Grade 1 winner of 2015 and his fourth overall in the Las Virgenes, a traditional prep for the Santa Anita Oaks (G1).
Making her first start around two turns, Callback went right to the front to engage in a fairly heated duel with Suva Harbor. The pair were right together after a half-mile in :46.88, when Callback began to pull clear.
Up by 1 ½ lengths in mid-stretch, Callback held off a late charge by Light the City to stop the timer in 1:36.92 for the mile.
“You train them for two turns; I knew she was going to be forwardly placed and she worked really well coming into it,” said Baffert. “I thought her last race was really good (when she was second in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez S. on Jan. 3).
“It was nice to get a win for Wayne Hughes. He couldn’t make it today. He was ill with a little cold (in Malibu). Yeah (the Santa Anita Oaks, Grade I, $400,000, Apr. 4) would be considered, unless the earth moves or something.”
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Callback is now 2-1-0 in her four starts and has banked $245,450. She is out of the unraced Forest Wildcat mare Quickest, a half-sister to 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. Spendthrift was the winning bidder, at $375,000, for the filly as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select sale.
Baffert’s previous Las Virgenes winners are Excellent Meeting, 1999; Composure, 2003; and Eden’s Moon, 2012.