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Is Alcindor Baffert's Next Star?

Baffert has had a knack of winning stakes with thoroughbreds named for outstanding college coaches. He previously trained champion Midnight Lute and Da Stoops, both named for University of Arizona coaches.

Baffert’s next star may be named after a basketball superstar. The white-haired trainer said that Alcindor, a late-developing 3-year-old colt, had earned a start in the $250,000 Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita December 26 after a smashing seven-furlong allowance win here Sunday, his second triumph in as many starts.

Alcindor, a towering colt, hopes to stand as tall in his division as Lew Alcindor, the seven-foot basketball Hall of Famer who played under that name in high school and college before changing it to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the NBA.

Baffert also plans to send out contenders in 2-year-old championships here this month: Sharp Cat Stakes winner May Day Rose in the $250,000 Grade I Starlet for fillies on December 11 and Awesome Patriot in the $750,000 Grade I CashCall Futurity on December 18.

Baffert added another promising 2-year-old to his barn this week in Clearance Clarence after Summit Stable purchased a majority interest in the colt.

Other probable Starlet starters include Moccasin Stakes winner Turbulent Descent, Darley Debutante winner Tell a Kelly, Eastern invader Nina Fever and True Way of Grace.

Other probable Futurity starters include Hollywood Prevue Stakes winner Premier Pegasus, Real Quiet and Generous Stakes winner Comma to the Top, Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Del Mar Futurity winner J.P.’s Gusto, Industry Leader and Clubhouse Ride.






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