Faiza remains unbeaten with Santa Ysabel Stakes victory

She may not win by the length of the grandstand like some talented thoroughbreds, but Faiza gets the job done and that’s good enough for the connections of the 3-year-old daughter of Girvin.

Faiza, ridden by Flavien Prat, remained unbeaten in four starts Sunday with a 2 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Grade III Santa Ysabel Stakes at Santa Anita, which serves as a major prep for the Santa Anita Oaks on April 8.

The winner, who counts victories in the Grade I Starlet at Los Alamitos and Grade III Las Virgenes on her resume, tracked pacesetter Blessed Touch from second most of the way as the 4-5 favorite until the stretch, when she took the lead and gradually pulled away.

“She wins, but she is still learning how to win,” said winning trainer Bob Baffert, who won the Santa Ysabel for a record eighth time. “Flavien told me that she wasn’t going to win by a lot, that she does just enough. All the jockeys that have ridden her have said that there’s more in the tank and she gets it done.

“At Los Alamitos, (Pride of the Nile) came to her and I thought she was going to get beat. Prat told me there was just so much left under the hood, she just gives you enough. There’s a lot more there, which is good.”

And Tell Me Nolies, a two-time graded stakes winner, finished second, a length and a quarter in front of Blessed Touch in the five-horse field. Final time for the mile and a sixteenth was 1:44.66.

“I was pretty confident,” Prat said. “Obviously, a great post (six) so she jumped well and got me into the race. She was traveling well all the way around. I felt that the pace was quite easy, so I could get myself going around the turn and she stretched her legs down the lane really well.”

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Can she go longer?

“It seems like she is getting better, race after race,” Prat said. “I think the distance is not a problem for her. She’s a filly that has stamina so there is definitely (room for) improvement.”

San Simeon Stakes

The streaking Philip D’Amato made it six victories in two days by winning the $100,000 Grade III turf sprint down the hill with 3-2 favorite Motorious. Final time was 1:11.34 for the 6 1/2 furlongs.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Muhaarar, Motorious won for the fifth time in 13 starts and for the second time over the downhill course. He improved his bankroll to $204,944 with the victory.

Anarchist, an 11 longshot, finished second, 2 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Brickyard Ride, who set the early pace, finished third in his first race back following a 10-month layoff.

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