This weekend showcased the Kentucky Derby prep race, the Sam F. Davis, as well as a couple of Derby hopefuls trained by Bob Baffert. Here's how they faired this weekend.
$200,000 San Vicente Stakes (G2)
Bob Baffert had two favorites in the San Vicente at Santa Anita this weekend - COLISEUM and DESSMAN, but at the start it was Joel Rosario aboard SPARKY VILLE that went to the rail as SAVAGERY set the pace. Running at fractions of :22.07 and :44.32, things started to get a little complicated for SPARKY VILLE. DESSMAN moved three wide, while COLISEUM made his move between horses, while SAVAGERY began to slow. At the quarter pole, Rosario was able to get out of the trap he found himself in and squeaked by DESSMAN. From there he had the advantage and finished by a nose ahead of DESSMAN. COLISEUM finished third, 6 ½ lengths behind DESSMAN.
$250,000 Sam F. Davis (G3)
WELL DEFINED set the pace in the Sam F. Davis and won by 2 ¾ lengths in an upset at Tampa Bay Downs. That's pretty much how the race went with no real competition from the field once he got to the front. Running with blinkers for the first time, he set fractions of :23.23 and :47.09. He sprinted to the lead and that was all he needed. KNICKS GO was his toughest competition but failed to provide speed when asked. He finished fifth in his first outing since an 11th place finish back in November's Jockey Club Stakes. KENTUCKY WILDCAT tried for a chance as well as they turned for home but was unable to catch up. He was also pulled up at the wire and vanned off to the barn.
As the Sam F. Davis is a Road to the Derby prep race, WELL DEFINED picked up 10 points, KENTUCKY WILDCAT earned 4 points, SO ALIVE earned 2 points and COUNTER OFFER earned one point.
$200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (G2)
It was a rough start in the Las Virgenes for BELLAFINA, but she recovered quickly enough to get to the front of the pack as the field headed into the first turn. MOTHER MOTHER, a familiar foe, pressed BELLAFINA, challenging her and never letting her gain more than a length lead. But even against MOTHER MOTHER's best efforts, BELLAFINA wasn't giving up and powered through and pulled away by six furlongs and opened up a 1 ½ length lead in the stretch. ENAYA ALRABB challenged her as did CALF MOON BAY, but the bay filly kept digging to take the win by a length over ENAYA ALRABB. BELLAFINA still holds her undefeated stakes record in Southern California. Her only losses this year were a Maiden special weight sprint at Los Alamitos and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.