'Rising Star' Faiza Survives Inquiry To Take Starlet

Faiza | Benoit

'TDN Rising Star' Faiza (Girvin) narrowly outslugged Pride of the Nile (Pioneerof the Nile) and survived a stewards' inquiry to deliver as the 1-2 chalk in a roughly run renewal of the GI Starlet S. at Los Alamitos Saturday. The win marked the sixth straight Starlet victory and ninth overall for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. The flashy six-furlong debut winner at Del Mar Nov. 12 was making her two-turn debut in the Starlet.

Placed in a perfect spot by Flavien Prat in an outside, stalking third through fractions of :23.36 and :47.87, Faiza began to make her move while four wide on the far turn to join stablemate Doinitthehardway (Street Sense) and the rail-skimming Pride of the Nile.

With the trio lined up at the top of the lane, the tiring pacesetter Doinitthehardway took the worst of it while racing in between rivals, exchanging bumps with both Faiza and Pride of the Nile as they straightened. Faiza looked well on her way from there, but Pride of the Nile wasn't going down without a fight. Those two put on a show down the stretch passing the eighth pole with Faiza wanting it just a little bit more to take it by a head. Uncontrollable (Upstart) completed the trifecta.

“Faiza has always shown she's a special filly and she had to be special today to win just off one maiden race,” Baffert said. “She's still green, but I think she has a big future in front of her. I think she's going to get better with age, but we've loved her from the start and she's by one of the hottest sires going right now.”

Pedigree Notes:

Faiza, a $90,000 FTKJUL yearling and $725,000 EASMAY 2-year-old, is the first Grade I winner and fifth stakes winner for fast-starting freshman sire Girvin, who has relocated from Ocala Stud to Airdrie for the 2023 breeding season. Faiza is out of a half-sister to MGSW and Spendthrift Farm stallion Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile). Second dam Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy), a multiple graded-stakes winner herself, placed in both the GI Prioress S. and GI Test S. Faiza's yearling half-sister by Cairo Prince brought $160,000 at Keeneland September. Faiza's dam Sweet Pistol, a $33,000 purchase by Airdrie's Brereton C. Jones at the 2016 KEENOV sale, had a filly by Complexity in 2022 and was bred back to that sire for next season.

Saturday, Los Alamitos
STARLET S.-GI, $300,500, Los Alamitos, 12-10, 2yo, f, 1 1/16m, 1:44.49, ft.
1–FAIZA, 120, f, 2, by Girvin
                1st Dam: Sweet Pistol, by Smart Strike
                2nd Dam: Pomeroys Pistol, by Pomeroy
                3rd Dam: Prettyatthetable, by Point Given
   WIN, 1ST GRADE I WIN. ($90,000 Ylg '21 FTKJUL; $725,000
2yo '22 EASMAY). O-Michael Lund Petersen; B-Brereton C.
Jones (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien Prat. $180,000. Lifetime
Record: 2-2-0-0, $222,000. Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
Free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Pride of the Nile, 120, f, 2, by Pioneerof the Nile
                1st Dam: Inny Minnie, by Hard Spun
                2nd Dam: Inny River, by Seattle Slew
                3rd Dam: Golden Petal, by Mr. Prospector
TYPE. ($140,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-West Coast Stables, LLC;
B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC (KY); T-Leandro
Mora. $60,000.
3–Uncontrollable, 120, f, 2, by Upstart
                1st Dam: Behavioral, by Include
                2nd Dam: Arches of Gold, by Strike Gold
                3rd Dam: Pittsy, by Shecky Greene
1ST G1 BLACK TYPE. ($20,000 Ylg '21 FTKOCT; $130,000 2yo
'22 OBSAPR). O-Repole Stable; B-Fountian of Youth Breeding,
LLC (CA); T-Michael W. McCarthy. $36,000.
Margins: HD, 5HF, 3/4. Odds: 0.50, 12.30, 4.00.
Also Ran: Doinitthehardway, Blessed Touch, Classymademoiselle. Scratched: Fast and Shiny.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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