By Bill Finley
Coming off one of the most talked about performances of the year, Gamine (Into Mischief) is headed back to the barn of Bob Baffert, who will wait a few weeks before deciding what’s next for the 3-year-old filly.
Nothing could have overshadowed the win in the GI Belmont S. by Tiz the Law (Constitution), but Gamine came close in the GI Acorn S. With John Velazquez aboard, she won by 18 3/4 lengths and her time for the mile, 1:32.55, shattered the stakes record (video). Her effort earned a 110 Beyer figure, 10 points higher than the 100 assigned to Tiz the Law in the Belmont.
“I knew she could win, but I didn’t know she would put in that kind of performance. That was just insane,” Baffert said.
Baffert said the main goal for Gamine is the Sept. 4 GI Kentucky Oaks, but he’s not sure what route he will take to get her there. Gamine will likely have one start between now and the Oaks and possibilities include the GI Ashland S. at Keeneland July 11 and the GI Coaching Club American Oaks July 18 at Saratoga.
If Gamine is to face males the most likely spot for that would be in the Oct. 3 GI Preakness S. Owner Michael Lund lives in the Baltimore area.
“I didn’t nominate her to the Triple Crown because I didn’t want to be tempted,” Baffert said. “But things change and we’re not ruling anything out. Maybe the Preakness. If we take a shot that would be the most likely race. First I have to get her home and go from there.”
Gamine made headlines before her first race. She was the $1.8-million sale topper at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale last year. It didn’t take her long to impress Baffert.
“She always did things just like the super 3-year-old colts I had,” Baffert said. “She showed me brilliance from day one. Just like Charlatan, Uncle Chuck, Nadal, Authentic, horses who show you early on that they are something special.”
Gamine debuted Mar. 7, breaking her maiden at Santa Anita. Baffert then sent her to Oaklawn, where she had to fight to beat Speech (Mr. Speaker) by a neck.
“She was doing so well for the Acorn,” Baffert said. “I thought this was going to be her breakout race and it was. That was a pretty decent field she beat. With the timing, the Acorn was a perfect spot for her. I had been working her easy, sitting behind horses. She had been relaxing really well. Then she drew the one. I told Johnny that she is fast and just let her run. You can’t take too much of a hold on her because then she’ll try to get out and she is a little headstrong. We’ll get her back here, freshen her up, give her a couple of weeks without breezing her. When they run like that, that fast, I like to give them a couple of weeks off.”