Merneith Wins Second G2 Santa Monica
Facing a field that included likely 2021 Champion Female Sprinter Ce Ce, Merneith (5m American Pharoah x Flattermewithroses, by Flatter) shrugged that rival off to win her second straight Grade II Santa Monica Stakes on Saturday.
The Bob Baffert-trained Merneith shot straight to the lead in the seven furlong dirt race and galloped half a length in front of Park Avenue for the first half before Ce Ce started making her bid. That mare put the pressure on in upper stretch and it was just what Merneith needed to find another gear.
Edwin Maldonado kept the “go” button on to the line and that saw Merneith win by 3 lengths for HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud.
Merneith is now the winner of five of 12 starts with six other top three finishes for $493,620 in earnings. The mare also has a Grade I placing to her name when third in the 2020 Grade I La Brea Stakes.
“I’ve always thought very highly of her,” said Baffert “She got to prove it today, she beat a good field of fillies. She came back (after her last start) and worked great, like a good horse. I’m so proud of her. You get attached to these fillies, especially (when they’re by) American Pharoah.
A $350,000 weanling purchase by Gary Contessa by Hunter Valley Farm and $600,000 2-year-old buy by her racing owner from De Meric Sales, Merneith was bred by China Horse Club.
She is out of the stakes winning Flattermewithroses, who is also the dam of Uncle Mo’s two-time winner More Roses. Each of Merneith’s first four dams have produced stakes winenrs and her first five have all produced stakes performers.
A top-class sire, American Pharaoh has three graded stakes winners in 2022 with all three of them coming on dirt.