Comical Ghost likely Baffert's next Malibu Stakes threat

October 16, 2019 11:17am
Comical Ghost likely Baffert's next Malibu Stakes threat
Photo: Courtesy of Santa Anita Park

Once Comical Ghost debuted an impressive winner for the Bob Baffert barn back on June 1, the Hall of Fame trainer thought it might be viable to send him to Saratoga later in the summer for the H. Allen Jerkens (G1).

“We’ve been very high on him,” Baffert said, “but we had some foot issues with him. His feet are in great shape now.”

And some new Grade 1 plans are forming.

Baffert says Comical Ghost, who returned to beat winners in allowance company on Sept. 28, “definitely” has Santa Anita Park’s Sept. 26 Malibu Stakes (G1) as a year-end goal. The seven-furlong feature on opening day is the final top-level race open to only 3-year-olds on dirt.

Baffert has won the Malibu three times, most recently in 2018 with McKinzie.

Comical Ghost, a Godolphin homebred son of Ghostzapper out of the Distorted Humor mare Hystericalady, has flown under the radar a bit. Well meant all along, his debut pushed past Triple Crown season. And his second-out score was marred by a breakdown in the stretch.

Comical Ghost was positioned ahead of the incident, going on to complete six furlongs under jockey Joe Talamo in 1:10.08.

“He ran really well the other day and came out of it well,” Baffert said.

Comical Ghost returned to the work tab last Thursday, breezing a half mile in 50.80 seconds at Santa Anita. A prep before the Malibu in a yet-to-be-determined spot is likely, Baffert said.

Other horses already mentioned in connection with the Malibu include likely Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender Omaha Beach and King Jack, a last out winner of Parx Racing’s Gallant Bob (G2) for the Jerry Hollendorfer barn.

 

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