Saturday, March 27, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 27, 2010 . . . My Baby Baby bided her time early in the $50,000 Fairway Fun Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park, and the patient strategy left her with just enough to finish a neck ahead of the usual strong closing run of Danzon. Irish Ridge was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third.
With jockey Alex Solis's tight rein holding her two to three lengths off the lead, My Baby Baby tracked the sensible :25.24 and :49.21 pace set by Grande Annee to the half-mile point. The stalking Irish Ridge took over the lead approaching the three-quarter mark, but My Baby Baby was on the move by then and had the lead by a comfortable 2 1/2 lengths a furlong from home. Under an urgent hand ride by Solis, she lasted to the wire as Danzon cut quickly into her margin. Final time for the Fairway Fun, a 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares, was 1:44.72.
The win was the second on the day for Solis and trainer Ken McPeek, who teamed up earlier to win the Bourbonette Oaks with Orchestrator.
On the strength of an impressive third-place finish in the Grade II Santa Maria Handicap behind St Trinians and Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) winner Life is Sweet, My Baby Baby was the heavy favorite at 3-5.
"She had been running against some really good mares out in California," said McPeek, "and we had been thinking about bringing her back home to get a stakes win. We looked for a spot for a while and this race seemed ideal. We'll think about going to Keeneland for the Doubledogdare next."
"She had an incredible trip," said Solis. "She's a very special horse, so professional. In her last race (the Santa Maria), I really thought we were going to get there at the quarter pole, but she was just up against two monsters. She won very easy today."
Noting the diminishing margin, McPeek said, "Alex didn't want to hit her there at the end because she was running so hard on her own, and I'm glad he didn't."
Completing the order of finish in the Fairway Fun were Grande Annee, Indigo North, Selene’s Delight, and Blissful Song. Patti's Regal Song was scratched by her trainer.
My Baby Baby paid $3.20, $2.20, and $2.10 for her win, which upped her record to an impressive five wins, six seconds, and four thirds in 20 career starts, primarily in stakes company. She has earned $328,126 for owners Magdalena Racing LLC, et. al. and was bred in Kentucky by E. H. Beau Lane III. Now five years old, she is by Bernstein out of the Wavering Monarch mare Sarah Darling.