A return to the home-front proved an elixir for heavily favored Chasing Yesterday, as she ran down talented It’sjustanillusion late to win Sunday’s $75,000 Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita by a half length under Drayden Van Dyke. A chestnut daughter of Tapit owned and bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Equine, Chasing Yesterday is trained by Bob Baffert and got six furlongs in 1:09.86.

“She showed us that she’s a stakes winner now,” said Baffert. “She just went up in price. That was a nice filly that she beat today.”

A well beaten seventh, courtesy of a rough trip as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade I, seven furlong Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga Sept. 1, Chasing Yesterday was off at 3-5 today and paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10.

Breaking from the far outside in a field of five juvenile fillies, Chasing Yesterday was in high gear leaving the three furlong pole while third, about four lengths off pacesetter It’sjustanillusion. With a half length to make up a sixteenth of a mile from home, Chasing Yesterday gradually gained the advantage while ridden confidently by Van Dyke.

“She’s nice,” said Van Dyke, who was aboard the winner for the first time today. “I’ll tell you what, that horse that ran second, It’sjustanillusion, hats off to her, she really made me run. That horse dug in, but my filly dug in too and ran a helluva race.

“That was exciting. I thought I’d go by a little bit easier today.”

A half sister to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Chasing Yesterday is out of the Yankee Gentleman mare Littleprincessemma. A first out maiden winner July 28 at Del Mar, Chasing Yesterday now has two wins from three starts. With the Anoakia winner’s share of $46,500, she increased her earnings to $84,250.

It’sjustanillusion, an impressive first-out maiden winner going six furlongs here on Sept. 30, finished 4 ½ lengths clear of Andyoushallreceive and paid $2.20 and $2.10 as the 8-5 second choice.

“She ran too good to lose,” said Smith, who had ridden the winner in her two previous starts. “She went a little quicker than I wanted, but I didn’t want to get into a wrestling match with her either. I tried to steal a length there turning for home, but it wasn’t enough.”

Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Andyoushallreceive was off at 10-1 and paid $2.20 to show.

Fractions on the race were 21.49, 44.72 and 57.10.


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