Girvin's Faiza Stays Perfect in Las Virgenes

Faiza wins the Las Virgenes | Benoit Photo

A $725,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic grad, Faiza (Girvin) already had lofty expectations by the time she entered the starting gate for the first time Nov. 12. A popular choice at the betting windows, she put on a 3 1/2-length winning performance that day worthy of a 'TDN Rising Star' tag and immediately backed that form up with a narrow win next time out over familiar foe Pride of the Nile (Pioneerof the Nile) in the GI Starlet S. at Los Alamitos Dec. 10.

In a field that included the top three out of that Starlet S., as well as fellow 'Rising Star' Justique (Justify), Faiza drew the inside gate but was out-sprinted into the first turn by a pair of rivals to her outside in Sweet Trouble (Into Mischief) and Broadway Girls (Army Mule). Taken back third off that duo as the field strung out down the backstretch, Faiza stayed in contention before shifting to the outside to steadily gain until she was on even terms with Broadway Girls. Still making progress as the top trio came around the far turn, she came within a neck of Sweet Trouble at the head of the lane despite drifting out a bit and dug in gamely down the stretch to keep a closing Pride of the Nile at bay in a repeat of the Starlet exacta.

“I'd like to thank Bob Baffert and the owner for the opportunity and support,” said winning jockey Ramon Vazquez, who was aboard Faiza for the first time today with regular rider Flavien Prat away to ride today at Oaklawn Park. “I wanted to get out in the clear and put my filly in a good position.  She's a nice filly, when I asked her, she responded really well.  She's amazing.”

Pedigree Notes:

By top-five freshman sire Girvin–also the sire of fellow 'Rising Star' Damon's Mound–Faiza was her sire's first Grade I winner. Her second dam, MGSW & GISP Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy), is also responsible for MGSW and Spendthrift stallion Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile). Sweet Pistol saw her 2-year-old by Cairo Prince realize $160,000 at last year's Keeneland September Sale and she has a yearling filly by Complexity still to race as well.

Saturday, Santa Anita
LAS VIRGENES S.-GIII, $200,500, Santa Anita, 1-28, 3yo, f, 1m,
1:38.46, ft.
1–FAIZA, 124, f, 3, by Girvin
          1st Dam: Sweet Pistol, by Smart Strike
          2nd Dam: Pomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy
          3rd Dam: Prettyatthetable, by Point Given
'TDN Rising Star'. ($90,000 Ylg '21 FTKJUL; $725,000 2yo '22 EASMAY).
O-Michael Lund Petersen; B-Brereton C. Jones (KY); T-Bob
Baffert; J-Ramon A. Vazquez. $120,000. Lifetime Record:
GISW, 3-3-0-0, $342,000. Werk Nick Rating: B+. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or free Equineline.com
catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Pride of the Nile, 122, f, 3, Pioneerof the Nile–Inny Minnie,
by Hard Spun. ($140,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-West Coast
Stables, LLC; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY);
T-Doug F. O'Neill. $40,000.
3–Justique, 120, f, 3, Justify–Grazie Mille, by Bernardini.
($725,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-C R K Stable LLC; B-John D.
Gunther & Eurowest Bloodstock (KY); T-John A. Shirreffs.
$24,000. 'TDN Rising Star'.
Margins: HF, 2HF, HF. Odds: 1.00, 3.60, 2.40.
Also Ran: Sweet Trouble, Uncontrollable, Broadway Girls.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO,
sponsored by TVG.
 

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