'Nothing serious,' but debut delayed for $3.6 million Cezanne

October 15, 2019 04:04pm
'Nothing serious,' but debut delayed for $3.6 million Cezanne
Photo: Fasig-Tipton

It’s a good thing for Bob Baffert he already did away with the “Curse of Apollo.”

Cezanne, the most expensive horse in his barn — and perhaps the entire stable area at Santa Anita Park — is no longer on track to debut this year. Baffert said he had to back off working the $3.65 million son of Curlin, a Coolmore purchase at last March's Fasig-Tipton sale.

“Nothing serious,” Baffert said this week. “He’ll be ready by — I’d say the end of January, maybe.”

Two years after Justify went from a Feb. 18 debut to winning the Triple Crown, Cezanne will face a similar time frame if he’s to contend in the spring classics. Justify became the first horse to win the Kentucky Derby having not run at age 2 since 1882’s Apollo during his sweep.

Out of a Bernardini mare, Cezanne had seven works published, four at Los Alamitos and three at Del Mar with Baffert’s main string. His first Del Mar breeze on Aug. 13 was a half-mile bullet, and his most-recent drill was recorded Aug. 26.

Baffert spoke that same month with Breeders’ Cup pedigree analyst Ren Carothers about Cezanne.

“He’s really talented,” the trainer said. “I expect huge things from him, because usually Curlins are pretty slow coming around.”

At the time, Baffert was anticipating an October debut, liking what he was seeing from the 2-year-old colt.

Said Baffert: “An old-timer told me one time, ‘How do you know you bought a good horse?’ He says, ‘When you can sell that horse for the same price the next day, you know you made a good buy.’

“…This guy right now, if they said, ‘You know, we want our money back,’ I could find it.”

Hip 173 at the sale for 2-year-olds in training, Cezanne drilled the co-second-fastest eighth-mile breeze and galloped out strongly at Gulfstream Park. His namesake is Paul Cézanne, a French artist.

 

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