Back to Back G2 Santa Monica Stakes Wins for Merneith
Talented mare Merneith (5m American Pharoah x Flattermewithroses, by Flatter) made it back to back wins in the $200,000 Group II Santa Monica Stakes (7f) at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Merneith won this race last year and has had only one start since, returning to her best form to lead all the way and win by three lengths for Edwin Maldonado.
“It never gets old,” said Maldonado, who has now piloted Merneith in her last three starts.
“I’m very happy. I just want to thank [trainer] Bob [Baffert] for leaving me on her. I’m pretty sure he could have put anybody else but the fact that he put me back on her, it means a lot to me.
“I was just letting her do everything on her own, I didn’t want to take anything away from her... When [Ce Ce] came [to] her, she saw her and picked it up on her own. I didn’t even have to ask her.”
Bred by China Horse Club, the filly was sold for $350,000 at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale as a weanling to Gary Contessa from Hunter Valley Farm’s consignment. She returned to the sales as a 2-year-old, where she brought $600,000 from Narvick International on behalf of her racing owner from De Meric Sales.
One of 24 stakes-winners worldwide for American Pharoah, Merneith is the best of three winners out of stakes winner Flattermewithroses, a granddaughter of multiple graded stakes winner Fluttery Danseur.
American Pharoah has 12 entries for Inglis Classic including a filly from Group III placed Royal Fashion that made $360,000 for Ridgmont Farm on Sunday when knocked down to Blake Ryan Racing.