Fantastic Style lives up to name in Las Flores romp

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Jen Caldwell

March 20th, 2016

Kaleem Shah’s Fantastic Style was last seen taking the Great Lady M (G2) at Los Alamitos on July 11, and continued her winning ways when returning from an eight-month vacation in Sunday’s $100,000 Las Flores (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

The Harlan’s Holiday filly tracked Amaranth through the opening half-mile in :22.09 and :44.66 before taking over and drawing off for a four-length victory under jockey Rafael Bejarano. Fantastic Style proved best under a hand ride late in the stretch to finish six furlongs over the fast main track in 1:08.79.

Despite the layoff, Fantastic Style was still favored to win at 1-2 and returned $3 for living up to all expectations. Ben’s Duchess took second by 3 3/4 lengths over Cadet Roni while Finest City and Amaranth completed the order under the wire.

Fantastic Style is now 5-1-1 from seven total starts and has banked $332,000 lifetime. The Bob Baffert trainee kicked off her career with a runner-up effort at Santa Anita in December 2014, then proceeded to break her maiden and take an allowance/optional claimer at that track to open 2015.

The Kentucky-bred miss shipped from California to Kentucky for her first try against stakes rivals in the Beaumont (G2) last April and reputed herself well with a third-place effort.

Fantastic Style returned to the West Coast and earned her first stakes win in the Angel’s Flight S. back at Santa Anita before successfully earning graded credit in the Great Lady M to close out her sophomore season.

Fantastic Style is the first registered stakes winner out of the Mr. Greeley mare Ruby Summer, who is a half-sister to UAE One Thousand Guineas heroine Vague. Fantastic Style’s third dam is French classic queen Rescousse, who ran second in the 1972 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-G1) against the boys and is also known as the dam of multiple Grade 1 victress Reloy.

Fantastic Style photo courtesy of Benoit Photos


Rafael Bejarano, jockey Fantastic Style, winner: “It just depends how fast you go. I decided to use her a little bit from the gate to stay close, I sat second the whole way and I knew the five, Amaranth, was done.

“She’s been working really well in the mornings so I just think she’s getting better and better.”

Mike Marlow, assistant trainer Fantastic Style, winner: “She just cruised. (Rafael Bejaranao) was loaded all the way. She was off for a while but (trainer) Bob (Baffert) had her ready. She was really impressive. It was a good comeback race.”