04/02/2011 5:16PM

Santa Anita: Gilded Gem rallies from last to win the Las Flores


ARCADIA, Calif. - Leading trainer Bob Baffert nearly completed a sweep of the first three positions of Saturday’s $100,000 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita, finishing first and second with Gilded Gem and Subsidized and fourth with Mother Ruth.

At the eighth pole, Baffert’s three fillies and mares occupied the first three positions in the field of five, but pacesetter Mother Ruth faded late, spoiling the potential milestone.

Gilded Gem ($7.20), who was last for the first half-mile, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.22, outfinishing Subsidized by 1 1/4 lengths. Silver Swallow, trained by Bruce Headley, was fourth at the eighth pole and passed Mother Ruth in deep stretch to finish third by a head. Mother Ruth was followed by Broken Dreams, who stalked the pace to the turn and faded through the stretch.

Candy’s Pleasure was withdrawn at the gate because of injury, according to track stewards.

“I thought Mother Ruth would keep going,” Baffert said. “I’d like to have been 1-2-3, but we’ll take it.”

Baffert thought Mother Ruth would win on the turn when she led by two lengths over Broken Dreams.

“It looked like Mother Ruth would take off, but she got a little late and [Gilded Gem] started running,” Baffert said. “She likes to sit back and make a big run.”

Gilded Gem, 5, races for a partnership. By Smarty Jones, Gilded Gem has won 4 of 10 starts and $223,800. The Grade 3 Las Flores was her fist stakes win. Baffert said she will be pointed for the Grade 1 Human Distaff over seven furlongs at Churchill Downs on May 7.