Heavily favored Can the Man was an impressive
winner of Monday’s $100,000, six furlong Speakeasy Stakes at Santa
Anita, winning by 1 ¾ lengths under Martin Garcia and providing trainer
Bob Baffert with his third win in-a-row on the program—which included a
blistering comeback performance from multiple graded stakes winner
Secret Circle, who could resurface in the $1.5 million Xpressbet
Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov 2.
Photo: Benoit Photo
Although Baffert took blinkers off the 2-year-old colt by Into
Mischief, Can the Man showed plenty of early zip as he pressed eventual
runner-up Hi Fashioned through fractions of 21.69, 44.50 and 56.76,
while getting the distance in 1:09.53.
“They took the blinkers off today, which I think helped,” said Garcia.
“He took the lead today and was just waiting, waiting, and waiting and
was just playing with them. He felt that horse on the inside coming (Hi
Fashioned, with Agapito Delgadillo) and once they got close he took off
again. He was just playing out there today.”
A first-out maiden special weight winner at Del Mar on Aug. 17, Can the
Man was then third in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 4, and was
most recently fourth in the Grade I, mile and a sixteenth FrontRunner
Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28.
Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite in a field of five, Can the Man paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20.
“He was disappointing in the two-turn race (Grade I FrontRunner), so I
thought this was the time to take the blinkers off and he drew perfectly
(in post five) on the outside…Right now, I think one turn is his
race…I’ve got to be careful. There’s a lot of pressure with this horse
because he’s named for my son, Canyon.”
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., Can the Man picked up $60,000 for the win,
boosting his earnings to $156,000. He now has two wins and a second
from four starts.
Fashioned who drew the rail and was off at 5-1, maintained a half length
advantage past the half mile pole and battled gamely, finishing 6 ¼
lengths in front of third place finisher Alpine Luck and Gary Stevens.
Hi Fashioned paid $4.40 and $2.60.
Alpine Luck was third-best at 8-1 and finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of
Brother Soldier and Edwin Maldonado. Alpine Luck paid $3.00 to show.
Carded as race four, the Speakeasy was preceded by race three, a tough
three-other-than conditioned allowance at six furlongs, which was won by
Baffert’s Secret Circle in 1:07.98, the fastest six furlongs of the
current Autumn Meet.
winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, as well as the Grade
III Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20, 2012 and the Grade II Rebel Stakes
March 17, 2012, Secret Circle had been idle since running second in the
Grade I Arkansas Derby on April 14, 2012.
Baffert indicated that Secret Circle may be pointed to the Grade I,
$1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
“It’s tempting, we’re right here at home,” he said. “We’ll see how he
acts the next couple of days and we’ll make a decision.”