Updated on 09/17/2011 9:53AM

Composure turns tables on Elloluv

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Composure (left) gets by pacesetter Ellolov to win Sunday's Grade 1 $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. - A poor start and a stubborn pacesetter could not prevent Composure from rallying to win the $200,000 at Santa Anita on Sunday.

After stumbling badly at the break, and fighting her way through traffic on the backstretch, Composure caught pacesetter Elloluv in the final furlong to win the second major stakes of her career. Last fall, Composure won the Oak Leaf Stakes prior to finishing second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Arlington Park.

Composure's victory in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes was her first start since she finished a well-beaten second to Elloluv in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes in December. In between, Elloluv won the Grade 3 Santa Ynez Stakes over seven furlongs on Jan. 20.

The win confirmed Composure's status as a Kentucky Oaks contender this spring for trainer Bob Baffert and owners Bob and Beverly Lewis.

"Did she fight for it or what?" Baffert asked the Lewises while watching the replay. "They had her boxed in tight. We finally got her a Grade 1."

Ridden by Jerry Bailey, Composure ($3.80) was fourth around the first turn, but only two lengths behind Elloluv who set a modest pace of 24.28 and 47.81 seconds. On the final turn, Ellolov increased her advantage to 1 1/2 lengths, but was quickly challenged by Composure.

Racing on the rail in early stretch, Composure switched to the outside of Elloluv before the eighth pole and rallied through the final furlong to win by a neck over Elloluv. Composure finished a mile in 1:36.13.

"That was too short for her," Baffert said. "The other filly is a good filly. I thought going a mile she'd have an edge on us. I'm glad the other races are farther than a mile."

Elloluv finished three lengths in front of Watching You, who was followed by Puxa Saco, Maddie's Charm and Favola.