The Grade II, $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes, for 3-year-olds at one
mile on turf, attracted an evenly matched group of eight and is headed
by 3-1 morning line favorite Midnight Crooner, one of two Bob
Owned and bred in Kentucky by Arnold Zetcher, Midnight Crooner
has two wins from three lifetime tries at one mile on turf, including a
victory in a division of the Oceanside Stakes on July 18 at Del Mar.
Idle since running ninth in the Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sept. 2,
Midnight Crooner, by War Chant, will be ridden for the first time by
Martin Garcia. His record stands at 8-3-0-1, with earnings of $128,765.
Baffert will also send out Gary and Mary West’s Conspiracy, a
son of Giant’s Causeway. Previously trained by Chad Brown, Conspiracy
has one win from four starts.
Fit to Rule, a smashing 9 ½-length maiden winner going 1 1/16
miles on synthetic Cushion Track Nov. 24, is well drawn at the rail and
tries turf for the first time. Trained by Doug O’Neill and ridden again
by Edwin Maldonado, the Kentucky-bred colt by Hard Spun has a mark of
6-1-1-1. He is owned by George Bolton and Fog City Stable.
Big Bane Theory and Silentio, trained by Carla Gaines and Gary
Mandella, both have solid turf credentials. While never a factor at
18-1 in the Grade I Hollywood Derby on Nov. 25, “Big Bane” was a neck
shy of being 3-3 going into the Derby and will look to rebound under Joe
Talamo. Owned by Devereaux or Gross, he has earnings of $93,720 from a
record of 4-2-0-1.
Silentio has been freshened since Oct. 12, when he ran a
close-up third going 1 1/8 miles at odds of 5-2. A Kentucky-bred
son of the Sunday Silence stallion Silent Name, Silentio is 3-2-0-1,
with earnings of $75,960. He’s owned by his breeders, Wertheimer and
Like Big Bane Theory and Silentio, Smart Ellis has also been
lined at 9-2 by White. Trained by Richard Mandella, he was 12th in the
Hollywood Derby after encountering trouble at the break and into the
stretch. Seven of his nine lifetime starts have been on turf and his
best races make him a legitimate threat. He’ll be handled for the first
time by multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Julien Leparoux. By
Smarty Jones, he was bred in Kentucky by his owners, Wertheimer and
Frere. He has earnings of $115,590 from a record of 9-2-1-1.
Mike Smith will again ride the talented Battle Force, who broke
his maiden going a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 4 and was third,
beaten 1 ¾ lengths, as the even money favorite in the Grade III Generous
Stakes on Nov.27. Smith will hope to have a lively pace to run at, as
the son of Giant’s Causeway is best suited when allowed to make a big
run from well off the pace. Owned by Woodford Racing, LLC, he’s trained
by John Shirreffs. Battle Force has a record of 4-1-2-1, with earnings
The complete field for the Sir Beaufort Stakes, to be run as
race five, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Fit to
Rule, Edwin Maldonado, 118; Press Baron, Victor Espinoza, 118; Smart
Ellis, Julien Leparoux, 118; Big Bane Theory, Joe Talamo, 118; Midnight
Crooner, Martin Garcia, 118; Conspiracy, Garrett Gomez, 118; Battle
Force, Mike Smith, 118, and Silentio, Rafael Bejarano, 118.