Kinza stays unbeaten in Santa Ysabel

Saturday, March 9th, 2024

Kinza improves to 3-for-3 with dominating victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita. Benoit Photo.

Kinza continued her ascent to the top of Southern California’s 3-year-old filly division with a powerful victory in Saturday’s Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Michael Lund Petersen’s daughter of Carpe Diem took command at the start under Juan Hernandez, controlled proceedings from there and rolled to a 5-length score over Where’s My Ring in the 1 1/16-mile stakes.

Kinza improved to 3-for-3, adding the Santa Ysabel to her victory last month in the Grade 3 Las Virgenes. She’s won her starts by a combined 14 1/2 lengths, and the way trainer Bob Baffert sees it, there’s room for improvement.

“She is just so naturally fast, she gets wound up,” said Baffert, winning his fourth straight Santa Ysabel and eighth in his Hall of Fame career. “She is getting better. Her worst enemy is that she is just so cranked up. My team and my staff everyone works hard to school her and spends time with her.

“She is just a naturally gifted speed horse. She has a beautiful way of moving and just gets over the ground really nice and with her speed and the way she gets going it’s just perfect.”

A $350,000 purchase at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale, Kinza set strong fractions of :22.53, :45.98 and 1:10.55 under light pressure from She’s a Tempest.

Hernandez gave Kinza her cue to kick on at the top of the stretch and the chestnut filly responded, drawing off to win in 1:44.16.

“She was feeling very sharp today in the post parade,” Hernandez said. “She was just feeling a little fresh and now she knows she was going to race, so she was feeling a little hot. I didn’t want to go that fast in the beginning, I wanted to go nice and easy.

“I just let her go, I didn’t want to fight her. She was really comfortable. I felt the pace fast earlier, so I said, ‘I’m just going to wait I’m not going to move.’ I was just checking making sure no one got too close to me and when she switched leads that’s when she picked it up again and gave me another gear. She is a nice filly.”

Bred by JD Business Ventures, Brushy Hill Stables and the Carpe Diem Syndicate and foaled at Schuylerville Thoroughbred Farm in Fort Edward, Kinza is the first foal out of the winning Quality Road mare Secret Wonder.

Kinza sold at auction three times before her debut. She brought $17,000 as a weanling from Marysue Stable at the 20121 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale. She was later purchased by Grassroots Training and Sales for $30,000 at the 2022 OBS October yearling sale. Grassroots Training and Sales consigned the filly at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale of 2-year-olds in training, where she brought $350,000 from agent Donato Lanni.

The second most expensive New York-bred at the May sale, Kinza picked up $60,000 for her Santa Ysabel victory to boost her earnings to $159,000.

Secret Wonder, a $100,000 Keeneland September yearling and half-sister to the stakes-placed Mylastfirstkiss, is also the dam of a 2-year-old New York-bred filly by Instagrand bred by JD Business Ventures LLC.

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