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Merneith wins Santa Monica S. (G2) for second straight year
Sunday, February 6, 2022

Merneith fended off a stiff challenge by Ce Ce in the stretch to win Saturday’s $200,000 Santa Monica S. (G2) by a widening three lengths.

Merneith, who also won this race last year for the Baffert stable, is now 5-4-2 in 12 starts and has earned $493,620 for Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud.

The 5-year-old by Baffert’s 2015 Horse of the Year American Pharoah was on the engine right from the start. She laid down solid fractions of :22.39 and :45.75, with Park Avenue her closest pursuer early on. Ce Ce mounted her bid coming into the homestretch and got within a length before Merneith kicked clear in the final furlong under a strong ride from Edwin Maldonado.

The final time of 1:22.39 for the seven furlongs on a fast track earned Merneith a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 102.

“She won this race last year and she needed her last race,” Baffert said in reference to her second-place finish in the Jan. 2 Kalookan Queen, her first start in 11 months. “Edwin gets along with her great and it was a perfect pace for her. Everything went well and when she=s on, I’ve always thought very highly of her. She got to prove it today, she beat a good field of fillies.”

Baffert now has six Santa Monica wins, tying him with D. Wayne Lukas for the most all-time.


Baffert 2013