With a well-meant Park Avenue providing a target from the opening-bell in Saturday’s Grade 3, $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa-Anita, heavily favored As Time Goes By stalked her to the far turn, took command a quarter-mile from the cash and dominated in a thoroughly dominant New Year’s Day efficiency, winning by 13 1/2 lengths as Flavien Prat notched his second consecutive stake win and his 5th overall on the day.
He was conditioned by Bob Baffert, who got his 2nd stake to win the day and who was offered through telephone from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, As Time Goes By got a mile and one-sixteenth in 1:44.31.
” This filly keeps getting better and much better with age,” Baffert said. “I’m excited. She has always been a barn-favorite of mine. She’s got that American Pharoah personality. They seem to be late-bloomers, and she is getting better all the time. I am expecting huge things from her from here. She will stay here, and-I think the Grade-1 Beholder would be next for her.”
” I got myself in-the race, and she was taking a trip very well and ran fantastic down the lane,” stated Prat, who included a win in the nightcap to provide him six in 10 races. “She settled great, and she had a nice target all the way-around, and when it was time to make-her run, she was there for me.”
A winner of a set of Grade-2 stakes at Santa-Anita early last year, As Time Goes By, a 5-year-old mare by American Pharoah, came off a facile one 1/4 length win in the Grade 3 Bayakoa Stakes at Los Alamitos Dec. 5 and was off as the 3-5 preferred in a field of 5 older fillies and mares and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10.
On the strength of two recent wins, Park Opportunity, trained by John Sadler, was off as the second choice at 7-2 with Juan Hernandez and paid $3.20 and $2.20 while ending up 4 1/4 lengths in front of Moonlight d’Oro.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Richard Mandella’s Moonlight d’Oro was the third option at 7-2 and paid $2.10 to reveal while finishing two 3/4 lengths clear of longshot Fi-Fi Pharoah.
Fractions on the race were 23.46, 47.00, 1:11.46, and 1:37.27.