Baffert, who during the Spring/Summer meet at Belmont sent out American Pharoah to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, elected to send Pretty N Cool east after the 2-year-old filly finished second to Breeders’ Cup bound Songbird in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on September 5.
Pretty N Cool, a daughter of Scat Daddy, relished the cutback to six furlongs. The gray filly broke alertly and assumed control of the early lead, absorbing pressure from Libreta on the outside and Constellation to her inside through the half.
With Constellation still hounding her along the rail as the field of six juvenile fillies turned for home, Pretty N Cool stayed the course and kept her rival at bay throughout the stretch.
“We were confident,” said Baffert, who trains Pretty N Cool for Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman. “She has a lot of quality and ran like we thought she would. She’s pretty fast.”
Pretty N Cool upped her bankroll to $342,000 in her fourth career start.
“I got a really good trip,” said Garcia. “She’s fast and then I was just in perfect position.”
Constellation checked in second, a length in front of Tonasah. Wave of Glory, Island Saint and Libreta completed the order of finish.
(Sean Morris) Stellar Path shines in Athenia
Trevor Stewart’s Stellar Path made the grade in her fourth North American start, holding on to a half-length advantage at the wire to win the 38th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Athenia for fillies and mares on the inner turf Saturday at Belmont Park.
“I had a perfect trip,” said Rosario. “She’s a nice filly and does everything well.”
Beginning her career in Europe, Stellar Path, by Astronomer Royal, compiled a record of 5-3-1 from 13 starts before joining Christophe Clement’s barn for her 2015 season.
The 4-year-old took her North American debut by a half-length in the Plenty of Grace in April at Aqueduct before taking on graded company, coming in fourth as the post-time favorite in the Grade 2 Nassau in May and third in the Grade 3 Eatontown the following month.
Stellar Path finished a close third in her most recent attempt as the even-money choice in the Avowal on September 7 at Woodbine.
“This filly has been a bit unlucky all year long; she’s a touch difficult to ride,” said Clement.
The $120,000 winner’s share of the Athenia purse boosts Stellar Path’s career earnings to $437,486, whose overall record now stands at 18-7-3-3.
Wiener Valkyrie closed well for second at odds of 66-1, three-quarters of a length ahead of Lady Lara in third.