Faiza For Fun In the Santa Anita Oaks

By Alan Carasso, Thoroughbred Daily News

Michael Lund Petersen’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ Faiza (Girvin) was never really asked for a full effort by Flavien Prat in extending her unbeaten streak to five with a facile success in Saturday’s GII Santa Anita Oaks at the Great Race Place.

Beaten for speed and content to sit wide off a longshot front-runner, the $90,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling turned $725,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic breezer was patiently handled down the backstretch before making a run towards the front on the turn. Dueling briefly with Clearly Unhinged (Into Mischief) into the stretch, Faiza put the race to bed within a few strides, scampering clear to win as much the best. And Tell Me Nolies (Arrogate) ran on for second ahead of Window Shopping (American Pharoah) in third. Clearly Unhinged faded to fourth. Faiza remains under the care of Bob Baffert, making her ineligible for a start in the GI Kentucky Oaks.

“I’m very excited,” said Petersen, who also campaigned champion and fellow Fasig-Tipton purchase Gamine (Into Mischief). “Five out of five that’s more than you ever dream about. It’s very nice being on day like this and winning a race. It makes it all worth it.”

A supremely easy winner of her Nov. 12 debut at Del Mar, for which she was accorded ‘Rising Star’ status, Faiza was fully extended in winning the GI Starlet S. at Los Alamitos Dec. 10. A hard-fought, half-length winner of the GIII Las Virgenes S. Jan. 28, Faiza remained in this barn past the Feb. 28 transfer deadline that would have allowed her to run in the GI Kentucky Oaks and went on to best And Tell Me Nolies by 2 1/4 lengths in the GIII Santa Ysabel S. Mar. 5.

Faiza is out of a daughter of MGSW & MGISP Pomeroy’s Pistol, also the dam of $1-million KEESEP yearling Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile), a graded winner at ages two and three and now standing stud at Spendthrift Farm. Sweet Pistol, who was purchased by Brereton C. Jones for $33,000 at the 20176 Keeneland November Sale, is the dam of the 2-year-old filly Her Best Friend (Cairo Prince), a $160,000 graduate of last year’s Keeneland September sale and currently in training at The Thoroughbred Center. She produced a Complexity filly in 2022 and was most recently bred back to the son of Maclean’s Music.