Sunday, December 04, 2011
Ellafitz wires field in Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap
The 4-year-old Tiznow filly Ellafitz sprang right to the front out of the gate and cruised to a 3 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Bayakoa H. Dec. 5 at Hollywood Park. She is the tenth stakes winner of 2011 for her sire, whose leading earner this year is the two-time Grade 1 winner Tizway. Fourteen-year-old Tiznow will stand the 2012 season at WinStar for $75,000 LFS&N.
Ellafitz established a clear length and half lead after a quarter mile in :24.15, and maintained that advantage through six furlongs in 1:12.31. With plenty left in the tank for the stretch drive, jockey Martin Garcia let the bay filly out to increase the margin to the wire. The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.69 on the Cushion Track.
The win in the Grade 2 was the first in a stakes of any kind for Ellafitz, who is owned by D&E Racing and trained by Bob Baffert. The victory was her fourth in 12 starts and increased her earnings to $230,857.
“The owner’s name is Ella (Sivage) and I told her there’s a horse we need to buy and she loved this horse because her name was Ellafitz,’’ said Baffert. “We paid in the low six figures for her.
“I had been trying to find an allowance race for her, but it wouldn’t fill. Then she worked (seven furlongs in 1:24 Nov. 28 at Santa Anita) and I said, “You know what, I’m going to run her in the Bayakoa if she’s doing that well. I think this race may have been her best by far.’’
Ellafitz was bred in Kentucky by Mineola Farm II LLC, David R. Houchin & James W. Hirschmann. She is out of the unraced mare Skat Girl and is a half-sister to the listed stakes winner Andiamo. Ellafitz's third dam Avie is the dam of 1980 2-year-old champion Lord Avie.