Fantastic Style runs away with Great Lady M

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Jen Caldwell

July 12th, 2015

Fantastic Style swept to the lead in the stretch of Saturday’s Great Lady M S. (G2) at Los Alamitos and easily drew off to record her first graded victory.

The Kaleem Shah colorbearer is now 4-1-1 from six career starts, but got this one in a different way than her previous wins.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano settled Fantastic Style well off the rail on the backstretch run before giving her the signal rounding the turn. The bay sophomore easily glided past Amaranth and Sunday Rules, who had dueled up front since the gates opened.

That has been Fantastic Style’s place in her previous races – up front and leading the way – but, with all the speed littering the field, Bejarano employed different tactics on Saturday.

It paid off as Fantastic Style was 3 1/2 lengths clear on the wire while stopping the clock in 1:14.78 for 6 1/2 furlongs over the fast main track.

The filly dropped her career debut in December at Santa Anita Park but has now gone 4 for 5 this year. Fantastic Style’s only loss this season came in her stakes debut in the Beaumont S. (G2) at Keeneland on April 12, where she finished third. The Kentucky-bred scored in the Angel’s Flight S. prior to the Great Lady M.

Fantastic Style has proven a nice, consistent runner thus far for trainer Bob Baffert, who probably is eyeing the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) with his charge. She’ll be back at Keeneland if going in that race, and has plenty of time to continue improving.

Sunday Rules entered the Great Lady M unbeaten from five career starts, and found herself running outside of Amaranth instead of setting the pace like she had in all her other races. The four-year-old bay backed up in the stretch, eventually beaten 6 3/4 lengths by Fantastic Style and 3 1/4 lengths by Living the Life, who glided on by in the lane.

Grade 1 winner Warren’s Veneda finished fourth in the Great Lady M, but that could be due to the sprint distance. The five-year-old mare’s last try at less than 1 1/16 miles came at Del Mar last year when third in the seven-furlong Betty Grable S. The Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1) going 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar on August 1 is probably next on her radar.

Fantastic Style photo courtesy of Benoit Photos