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Merneith takes Santa Monica (G2) for first graded win
Saturday, February 13, 2021
The Baffert barn hit the trifecta and added Merneith to its stable of graded stakes winners on Saturday when the 4-year-old filly won the Santa Monica S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park.

Baffert's fillies took the top three spots in the seven-furlong race, with Golden Principal finishing second and Qahira taking the show spot.

Owned by HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud, Merneith had previously won the Fort Springs S. in November at Keeneland and is now 4-3-2 in 10 starts, with earnings of $357,900.

At the break, it was Merneith shooting to the lead, with Golden Principal pressing her through the first quarter-mile. The two were on nearly even terms until Merneith began to pull away entering the stretch. She extended her lead down the lane to win by 2 1/4-lengths in 1:22.28 on a fast track.

“She looks like (her sire) American Pharoah to me, when she came in, she looked almost like a spitting image of him,” said Baffert. “I’m glad they are starting to run now. To me it means more to American Pharoah than anything else but the ownership, the prince in Dubai, I was telling him how high I was on this filly. Today is the day she finally showed what she has and that was a pretty tough field of horses that she beat. To win one-two-three, it was nice cheering down the lane.” 

Baffert now has won the Santa Monica on five occasions, one behind Wayne Lukas' record of six.

Baffert 2013