ARCADIA, Calif. -- A strategic miscalculation that contributed to the defeat of May Day Rose one month ago in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet will not be repeated Sunday in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita.
The 1 1/16-mile race drew five entrants; Zazu is expected to scratch. Win or lose, trainer Bob Baffert said May Day Rose this time will assert her speed. In the Starlet, May Day Rose pulled while rated in second position, made the lead into the lane, then faded.
"I was so worried about that other speed horse," Baffert said. "I should have put [May Day Rose] on the lead; she is one-dimensional."
May Day Rose pressed longshot sprinter Nina Fever in the Starlet, but the duel took its toll and she weakened to fourth.
May Day Rose benefits Sunday by easier company and a softer pace scenario. Unbeaten Starlet winner Turbulent Descent is being pointed for a return in the Grade 1 La Virgenes on Feb. 5, and the only pace rival Sunday for May Day Rose is stablemate Plum Pretty.
"May Day Rose has more speed than the other filly," Baffert said. As of Friday, Baffert said "they both are going to run."
Plum Pretty won her only start Oct. 27, racing six furlongs against maidens. May Day Rose has won 2 of 4, including a front-running win Nov. 7 in the 1 1/16-mile Sharp Cat Stakes at Hollywood. Rafael Bejarano rides May Day Rose; Garrett Gomez is named on Plum Pretty.
The three other entrants are Bluegrass Chatter, Scarlet Starlet, and Zazu. Trainer John Sadler said he planned to scratch Zazu and run Jan. 15 in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes at seven furlongs.
The improving Bluegrass Chatter was not on the original list of nominations; she was supplemented at entry time for $2,000.
"We weren't intending to run there, but the field was coming up light so we decided to take a chance," trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said.
Bluegrass Chatter, whose last-start maiden win was flattered when runner-up Star Presence returned to win, could start as the second choice in the Santa Ysabel. Joel Rosario rides.
Scarlet Starlet, trained by Doug O'Neill, won her career debut in a turf sprint, then finished sixth in the one-mile Corte Madera at Golden Gate. Martin Pedroza rides.The Santa Ysabel was carded as race 3 on a nine-race card.