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Kobe's Back Set for San Vicente

Kobe's Back - Benoit Photo
Photo: Benoit Photo
If it wasn’t for bad luck, Kobe’s Back would have no luck at all. In his three starts, the gray colt’s Daily Racing Form’s trouble lines read as follows: “Broke in air, slowly; Off slow, three-wide turn,” and “Clipped heels ½, weakened.”

Remarkably, despite breaking in the air in his first start, the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes at Hollywood Park last June, Kobe’s Back won by 3 ¼ lengths. He was second to champion Shared Belief in the Hollywood Prevue and virtually eliminated next out in the Grade I CashCall Futurity in December.

Trainer John Sadler expects a less eventful trip when the son of Flatter owned by Lee and Susan Searing’s C R K Stable and named for Lakers’ superstar Kobe Bryant runs in next Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.

“In his second race, he was second-best, and in his third race, he clipped heels, so he’s had a couple of excuses,” Sadler said. “I’m anxious to get him started this week. He’s doing really well.”

In other news from the Sadler barn:

Robert B. Lewis Stakes winner Candy Boy came out of his race in good shape and likely will be pointed to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

On Vagabond Shoes, winner of the 1 ¼-mile San Marcos: “I haven’t looked at the calendar yet, but there are some longer turf races here for him.”

Overcoming an uncharacteristically slow start at Santa Anita, where he is a two-time training king: “It’s a long year, so we stopped on a lot of horses last year and have a lot of horses coming back in. It’s the second month of the year; we’ve got a long way to go.”

Probable for the San Vicente: Cherubim, Mike Smith; Grazen’s Hope, no rider; Indianapolis, Martin Garcia; Kobe’s Back, no rider; and Papa Turf, Joe Talamo.



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