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Undefeated Faiza brilliant once again in Santa Anita Oaks (G2)
Saturday, April 8, 2023

Faiza ran her record to a perfect 5-for-5 with a dominating performance in Saturday’s $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G2), running up the score in the stretch to win by 6 ½-lengths.

The 3-year-old filly is Bob Baffert’s third Oaks winner and has now won four graded stakes in addition to her debut maiden win last November at Del Mar.

Faiza sat well off the early pace set by a loose-on-the-lead Gila, who was up by a half-dozen lengths after a half-mile in :46.01. Gila began to slow sharply soon after, and Faiza and Clearly Unhinged swiftly passed her to vie for the lead. Faiza took the lead for good passing the quarter pole, and was all alone for the stretch run, completing the 1 1/16-miles in 1:43.27.

“She’s getting better and better and improving,” Baffert said. “(Jockey Flavien) Prat has always told me she does just enough to get by. I told him she would do more today. I’ve never seen her so sharp.”

“(Owner) Michael Lund has been a great supporter of mine,” Baffert added. “We had (former champion) Gamine, and he’s gotten spoiled now with Faiza. It’s good to have her in the mix.”

Faiza won last year’s Starlet S. (G1), and took the Las Virgenes S. (G3) and Santa Ysabel S. (G3) this year. Her lifetime earnings now stand at $642,000.

Baffert 2013