A homebred daughter of El Corredor owned by Hal and Patti Earnhardt III, Toro Bonito comes into the race off a third-place finish behind Laragh in Hollywood Park’s Grade I Hollywood Starlet on Dec. 13, an effort that is likely to earn her favoritism on Sunday.
“Toro Bonito just grinds it out,” Baffert said of the bay Kentucky-bred who will be accompanied by regular rider David Flores while attempting to adorn a 1-2-2 record in six races for earnings of $137,156.
Baffert will also run maiden winners Century Park and Jemmealey, a Zayat Stables filly who will be making her first start for the trainer after being transferred from Bill Mott’s stable in the East.
The complete field for the Santa Ysabel Stakes, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Acting Lady, Michael Baze, 116; Haka, Garrett Gomez, 116; Jemmealey, Jose Valdivia Jr., 116; Dave’s Revenge, Victor Espinoza, 116; Century Park, Tyler Baze, 116; Lady Lumberjack, Rafael Bejarano, 114; Will O Way, Joel Rosario, 116; Crazy Tricia, Martin Garcia, 114, and Toro Bonito, David Flores, 114.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux in the Hollywood Starlet, Dave’s Revenge will be reunited with Victor Espinoza, who was aboard for her maiden victory. That, and the Breeders’ Cup effort that produced $102,000 in just her second career start for owner David Rippey and trainer Bob Hess Jr., have netted the Kentucky-bred daughter of The Cliff’s Edge $142,570 in three starts.
Will O Way placed third behind Stardom Bound in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante last summer. The Broken Vow filly, trained by Vladimir Cerin, aired by 5 ½ lengths in her last start, the $75,000 Corte Madera at Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 13. Joel Rosario, aboard in the Del Mar Debutante, has the riding assignment.
The Santa Ysabel Stakes is carded as the eighth race on a nine-race program with first post at 12:30 p.m.