03/31/2011 1:43PM

Santa Anita: Baffert going deep in Las Flores Stakes


ARCADIA, Calif. – The presence of Gilded Gem, Mother Ruth, and Subsidized give Bob Baffert half the starters in Saturday’s $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for female sprinters at Santa Anita.

That has not led to overwhelming confidence from the Hall of Fame trainer.

“I’ve got to beat” Broken Dreams, Baffert said.

Trained by Tom Proctor, Broken Dreams has drawn the rail in the Grade 3 Las Flores, which is run over 6 1/2 furlongs. Broken Dreams has placed in two stakes for turf sprinters at this meeting and seeks her first career stakes win in the Las Flores.

Baffert’s fillies and mares may have Broken Dreams surrounded. Mother Ruth is best as a pacesetter, Gilded Gem is a stalker, and Subsidized tends to run from off the pace. None of the Baffert-trained runners won their last starts.

Gilded Gem was second in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Stakes on Jan. 30 and was second by a head as a heavy favorite in an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs on Feb. 25.

“She needs a pace to run at,” Baffert said.

Mother Ruth won the minor Kalookan Queen Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 7 but was only fourth in the Santa Monica, never reaching the lead.

“The last time, I thought she’d be on the lead,” Baffert said. “I want her up close.”

Subsidized will be the outsider of the Baffert starters. A stakes winner at Fairplex Park last September, she was a troubled seventh in the Wishing Well Stakes on the hillside turf course Jan. 30, her most recent start.

“She’s breezing very well,” Baffert said.

Another pacesetter could be Candy’s Pleasure, who won an optional claimer over six furlongs from the front on Feb. 27. She could have been claimed for $20,000 on Jan. 1.

Silver Swallow is the veteran in the field of six, a 7-year-old mare with career earnings of $461,415. Trained and co-owned by Bruce Headley, Silver Swallow has won 4 of 29 starts but has yet to win a stakes. She has placed in 12 stakes, including a second to Rags to Riches in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in 2007 and a third to Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap in 2008.

“She’s a hard-trying filly,” Headley said. “If there is a speed, she’s a closer. She’s earned almost $500,000. I’ve got to get her that stakes win.”