Race of the Week 2017

Baffert Enters Three in San Vicente

Bob Baffert
Shakin It Up, a sharp third in the Grade III Hollywood Prevue on Nov. 22, heads a field of six Triple Crown hopefuls going seven furlongs in Sunday’s Grade II San Vicente Stakes, and important steppingstone to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

One of three Bob Baffert entrants, Shakin It Up, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Midnight Lute, was only beaten three quarters of a length in the Prevue, earning him a Beyer Speed figure of 96, which is the top last-out figure for those entered in the San Vicente. Two starts back, he was an impressive maiden special weight winner going six furlongs at Santa Anita on Oct. 27, winning by 4 ½ lengths.

In all three of his (sprint) starts, Shakin It Up has rallied strongly from off the pace, suggesting that he’ll be well suited to run two turns in the near future. Veteran David Flores, who rode him in his first two starts, has regained the mount for the San Vicente.

Bred by Mike Pegram, he is owned by Pegram and Dennis Cardoza. Second in his debut going six furlongs on Oct. 7, Shakin It Up has $49,600 in earnings.

In addition to Shakin It Up, Baffert will also send out maiden winners Belvin and War Academy.

“The horses haven’t run in a while but they’re all doing well and they’ve worked well,” said Baffert on Thursday morning. “There weren’t any allowance races, so I went here.”

Belvin, who will break from the rail, broke his maiden at Santa Anita in his second start, on Dec. 26. Breaking from post position 10 in an 11-horse field, Belvin was attentive to a fast early pace and drew clear to win by a length, getting 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14.80 and earning a Beyer figure of 90.

Owned and bred in Florida by Don Dizney, Belvin, a son of Empire Maker, was second in his debut going six furlongs on Nov. 25 at Betfair Hollywood Park. He’ll be ridden back by Rafael Bejarano and has earnings of $42,600.

A first-out maiden winner at even money on Nov. 9, War Academy, a Kentucky-bred colt by Giant’s Causeway, will stretch out a sixteenth of a mile off of his 1 ¾ length tally going 6 ½ furlongs. Martin Garcia will ride back for owners Magnier, Tabor and Smith.

A rousing seven furlong maiden winner in the slop on Dec. 8 at Aqueduct, Mudflats tired badly in his next start at a mile and 70 yards in the Grade II Jerome Stakes on Jan. 5. Sold privately prior to the Jerome, Mudflats will make his Southern California debut and his second start for trainer Doug O’Neill in the San Vicente.

A Kentucky-bred gelding by Tapit, Mudflats will be making his fifth career start and will be ridden for the first time by Edwin Maldonado on Sunday. He is owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Steve Keh, the Pinner Family Trust or Pike Place Racing and partners. With a win and a third from four starts, Mudflats has earnings of $49,234.

Caballo Del Cielo, a handy 4 ¼ length maiden winner on Jan. 5 going 5 ½ furlongs at Santa Anita, will be making his fifth start as well in the San Vicente.

Fifth, beaten 3 ¼ lengths in his second start, the Grade I Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs on Sept. 5, the 3-year-old colt by Songandaprayer has been trained by Steve Asmussen in his last two outs.

Second to Shakin It Up on Oct. 27, Caballo Del Cielo, who has shown good speed in all of his races, will be ridden for third time by Corey Nakatani. Owned by Jerry Durant, Caballo Del Cielo has a win and two seconds and earnings of $63,000.

Owners Gary and Mary West will be represented by Treasury Bill, a Kentucky-bred colt by Lemon Drop Kid who was third in his first start, beaten 3 ¼ lengths by War Academy going 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 9. Trained by Ron Ellis, he comes off a solid length and a quarter maiden win going the same distance over a wet fast track on Jan. 27—a race in which he broke slowly and rallied from far off the pace.

Treasury Bill will break from the outside and be ridden again by Joe Talamo. He has $39,000 in earnings.

The complete field for the San Vicente, which will be run as the seventh race on a nine-race program Sunday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Belvin, Rafael Bejarano, 118; Shakin It Up, David Flores, 118; War Academy, Martin Garcia, 118; Caballo Del Cielo, Corey Nakatani, 118; Mudflats, Edwin Maldonado, 118, and Treasury Bill, Joe Talamo, 118.



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