Trainer Bob Baffert continued his hammerlock on the Starlet Stakes (G2) at Los Alamitos Race Course when Nothing Like You gave the Hall of Fame conditioner his seventh consecutive victory in the Dec. 9 race. It is a testament to Baffert's ability with 2-year-olds because that equals his consecutive skein in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) from 2014-20.
Nothing Like You was putting together a streak of her own, winning for the third consecutive time and in back-to-back stakes races. She came into the Starlet off a maiden score in her fourth outing followed by the Nov. 18 Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar. Ridden by Juan Hernandez from the rail, she went off as the 2-1 third choice to 9-5 Chatalas, winner of the Oct. 7 Chandelier Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
Nothing Like You and Grazia, also trained by Baffert and the second choice in the field, broke on top in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet and were quickly joined by Chatalas and longshot Great Forty Eight. Those four raced together into the first turn.
As they swung onto the backstretch, Nothing Like You and Chatalas pulled ahead of the other two, as Nothing Like You set fractions of :23.24 for the first quarter-mile and :47.40 for a half-mile. Chatalas stayed with Nothing Like You until the second turn, but then the Baffert filly began pulling away. Nothing Like You strolled home on top by an easy 5 1/4 lengths, stopping the timer in 1:44.78.
"I thought my other filly would be on the lead," said Baffert. "(Nothing Like You) was pretty fresh today because I'd backed off her a bit because I'd just run her at Del Mar. Once I saw her on the backside with that long stride, you could tell she was in control of the race."
The race was not without drama in the stretch, but it occurred well behind Nothing Like You. While no one was going to catch the winner, Chatalas lost her best opportunity when Great Forty Eight, ridden by apprentice jockey J.G. Torrealba, veered out while under a left-handed whip, bumping Chatalas and forcing her to alter course.
Great Forty Eight finished second, 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Flynn's Chance. Chatalas was another two lengths back in fourth. Following an inquiry, the stewards disqualified Great Forty Eight from second to fourth.
The disqualification has even more ramifications because the Starlet offers qualifying points to its top-five finishers toward the 2024 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Thus, Flynn's Chance earned five points for second, Chatalas three points for third, Great Forty Eight two points for fourth, and Pacific Rose one point for fifth. Nothing Like You is ineligible for the 10 points that would have gone to the winner because of the extended ban of Baffert by Churchill Downs Inc.
Baffert not only was winning his seventh consecutive Starlet, it was his 10th overall in the race. He also had a double on the Los Alamitos card, having won a six-furlong maiden event with Elwood Blues, a son of Triple Crown winner Justify , who was also trained by Baffert.
Georgia Antley Hunt, Jeff Giglio, and John Rogitz own Nothing Like You. Rogitz purchased the filly for $190,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training from Wildheart Thoroughbreds. It marked the third time Nothing Like You had gone through a sale, having brought $67,000 as a weanling at the 2021 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale and $20,000 at the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Notch Hill Farm, Wolverton Mountain Farm, and Spendthrift Stallions bred Nothing Like You in Kentucky from the multiple stakes-winning Brother Derek mare Miss Derek. The mare had earlier produced 2018 Tepin Stakes winner South of France.
Nothing Like You is from the second-to-last crop of sire Malibu Moon, who died in 2021 at age 24. Malibu Moon's other 2023 runners include millionaire Last Samurai, and the stallion also sired such runners as 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb and 2004 champion 2-year-old male Declan's Moon. Malibu Moon stood at Spendthrift Farm near Lexington prior to his death.
NOTHING LIKE YOU ($6.20) pulls away from trouble in the stretch and takes the GII 🏆 Starlet at @LosAlRacing with @JJHernandezS19 in the saddle for @BobBaffert's seventh straight win in the stakes. Congratulations to owners Hunt, Giglio or Rogitz! pic.twitter.com/SpCPA3xX4D— TVG (@TVG) December 10, 2023