Amazingly enough, standout filly Gamine didn’t scare away the majority of her competitors for today’s Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes on Los Alamitos’ Thoroughbred Racing Festival’s closing day.

Gamine-Great Lady M Stakes
Gamine, seen here winning April’s Las Flores Stakes by five lengths, goes for her third 2021 win and eighth overall in Los Alamitos’ Great Lady M Stakes. (Image: Ernie Belmonte)

There are seven would-be rivals awaiting the 4-year-old Champion Filly Sprinter in the gate for the marquee event on Los Alamitos’ nine-race curtain drop. The Great Lady M sends its competitors 6 ½ furlongs for a $200,000 purse.

And unlike Gamine’s previous two races this year, she gets a modicum of company. She faced only three competitors in her five-length romp in April’s Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita Park. And only five took her on in the Grade 1 Derby City Distaff on the Kentucky Derby undercard. There, Gamine held off Sconsin by 1 ½ lengths for her seventh win in eight starts.

That doubled as Gamine’s fourth Grade 1 win in those eight starts. Four wins coming by a combined 33 ½ lengths. In those four Grade 1s, the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, the Test Stakes at Saratoga, the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Keeneland, and that Derby City Distaff, Gamine’s average Equibase Speed Figure is 113.

Gamine exudes pure speed

Her lowest Equibase since her maiden-breaking, 98 debut race in a March 2020 Santa Anita maiden special weight came in that Derby City Distaff – a 101. Even in her ninth-place finish at the Kentucky Oaks, where she was disqualified and dropped to ninth for excessive amounts of betamethasone, Gamine clocked a 108.

That explains why Bob Baffert’s daughter of Into Mischief casts a giant shadow over whatever race she enters. Gamine is a generational sprinting talent, one who’s already banked nearly $1.3 million. She has a summer and fall of racing awaiting her.

First things first, though. As for the Great Lady M, which Baffert captured in 2015 with Fantastic Style, and in 2018 and 2019 with Marley’s Freedom, Baffert chases Gamine with Qahira. She finished a distant second to Gamine in the Las Flores. Qahira is 5-for-10 lifetime, including an optional claiming win at Los Alamitos during the 2019 Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

John Sadler’s pair a combined 7-for-10

Two other intriguing challengers come from John Sadler’s barn: Edgeway and Candura. Edgeway comes in off a victory in the Carousel Stakes in April at Oaklawn Park. She looks for her third consecutive victory and fifth in seven career starts.

Candura is unbeaten in two 2021 starts, with both wins coming in Oaklawn Park allowance optional claiming outings. The Into Mischief filly has yet to see stakes competition.