Updated on 09/16/2011 8:24AM

Composure victorious in Oak Leaf


ARCADIA, Calif. - The lessons that Composure learned from her victory in Sunday's $250,000 at Santa Anita could pay major dividends later this month.

Making her first start around two turns, Composure won the Grade 2 Oak Leaf Stakes by three lengths, finishing 1 1-16 miles in 1:42.65. The Oak Leaf served as a prep to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.

"She could learn from this in leaps and bounds," said winning jockey Mike Smith. Sent off as the favorite, Composure ($4.60) stalked the pace of Espy and Buffythecenterfold through fractions of 23.38 and 47.07 seconds. Racing off the rail on the backstretch, Composure challenged Buffythecenterfold after Espy faded from contention.

Composure and Buffythecenterfold turned for home with Composure leading by a head. Through the stretch, Composure slowly pulled away from Buffythecenterfold to win her first stakes.

"She put her away very well," Smith. "She was just getting her best stride late."

Sea Jewel finished third in the field of six 2-year-old fillies.

Composure gave trainer Bob Baffert his fifth win in the Oak Leaf in the last six years. Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, Composure has won 2 of 4 starts and $160,000.