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Baffert, Velazquez team for 3 wins at Santa Anita opener

December 27, 2021 GMT
In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Kalypso, with John Velazquez aboard, wins the Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes horse race, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)
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In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Kalypso, with John Velazquez aboard, wins the Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes horse race, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)
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In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Kalypso, with John Velazquez aboard, wins the Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes horse race, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Kalypso rallied with a furlong to go and won the $300,000 La Brea Stakes by 4 3/4 lengths at Santa Anita on Sunday, giving trainer Bob Baffert and jockey John Velazquez their third win together on opening day of the track’s winter-spring meeting.

Velazquez also won another race, giving him four wins on the card after relocating from the East Coast for the winter.

Kalypso was third along the rail at the quarter pole when Velazquez swung the 3-year-old filly three-deep turning for home and went on to win at 8-1 odds. She paid $19.60, $9 and $5 in the Grade 1 race.

“I pulled her to the clear and from then on it was pretty easy,” Velazquez said.

Kalypso had been idle since finishing 12th in a Grade 2 race at Churchill Downs on April 30.

“We brought her back and she was fresh,” Baffert said. “She was really relaxed and she was one happy filly.”

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Private Mission, the 3-5 favorite trained by Baffert, finished sixth.

Baffert and Velazquez also teamed to win the first and fourth races on the card.

“That is the first time I have won the first race at this meet,” Baffert said. “You know Johnny V. is great to begin with. He’s like Tom Brady. He’s a lot wiser. He doesn’t panic. He rides his horse. That’s why he is a great one.”

Brilliant Cut returned $17.80 and $8 at 20-1 odds. Livingmybestlife was another half-length back in third and paid $4.80 to show.

The victory, worth $180,000, increased Kalypso’s career earnings to $480,600, with three wins in nine starts.