The next Arrogate? Thousand Words boasts 'big, long stride'

December 10, 2019 03:15pm
Gloomy skies and early-morning drizzle at Clocker’s Corner on Sunday didn’t preclude trainer Bob Baffert from enjoying a stream of congratulatory well-wishes the day after winning five races at Los Alamitos.

The five-win day, which included the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) with Thousand Words and the Starlet (G1) with Bast, was a personal-best for Baffert (quarter-horses excluded) and also tied the Southern California circuit record for most wins on a single program by a trainer. The feat was most recently accomplished by Doug O’Neill at Del Mar this past summer.

Baffert reported that all five of Saturday’s winners exited their races in good order. Both Thousand Words and Bast will get a brief freshening following their hard-fought victories. 

Making just his second career start, and first around two turns, Thousand Words battled gamely through the stretch of the Futurity to fend off Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d’Or by a neck. Baffert said when Anneau d’Or challenged Thousand Words he assumed they were beaten. 

“Anneau d’Or is a big, beautiful horse and when he came up to him, we thought that was it,” Baffert said. “We had the white flag up and thought oh, what a shame. He ran such a great race.”

But that wasn’t the case. Thousand Words did win, prompting this rather lofty comparison from Baffert.

“What I like about this horse is he has a big, long stride," Baffert said. "First time around two turns and when he came back he wasn’t even blowing. The last time I had a horse like that his name was Arrogate.”

Of course, that one emerged to take the Travers Stakes, Breeders' Cup Classic, Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup in succession from 2016-2017.

As for the $1 million yearling purchase Thousand Words, he's owned by Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm. Baffert said no decision has been made on the next target for Thousand Words. However, Jason Loutsch, racing manager for Albaugh Family Stable, told Horse Racing Nation that two west coast preps will be targeted before the Kentucky Derby for the son of Pioneerof the Nile.



By no means overshadowed was the performance of Bast, who like her stablemate showed plenty of fight in the stretch to hold off Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Donna Veloce in the Starlet. The win follows previous victories in the Del Mar Debutante (G1)  and Chandelier Stakes (G2) and a third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. 

“She looked so beautiful in the paddock and was training like before the Debutante,” Baffert said. “Unfortunately in the Breeders’ Cup, that track was so deep and tiring. I told Johnny [Velazquez] to put her on the lead that day and she hooked up with some longshot. She still held on for third. She’s just so gutty. She is so game that when that other horse (Donna Veloce) came to her, I knew she wasn’t getting by.”

Following that performance, Baffert lamented that he was unable to secure a 2-year-old filly championship for the Baoma Corp. colorbearer.

“Unfortunately, you have to show up on the big day and it didn’t work out for her in terms of a championship,” Baffert said.

While a plan has yet to be formulated for Bast, you can expect to see her relatively early on as a 3-year-old.

“I’ll freshen her up, but I don’t want to wait to long,” Baffert said. “She’s a heavy filly and I don’t want to let her get too heavy.” 

 

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