ARCADIA — Medina Spirit, the controversial winner of a Kentucky Derby we’ve yet to hear the final, beat seven rivals in the $300,000 Grade I Awesome Again Stakes in Santa Anita on Saturday with perhaps the most impressive victory of his nine-race career . .
Protonico’s 3-year-old son wired under John Velazquez, beating 54-1 Longshot Stiletto Boy by 5 lengths to pay all-expenses to the Breeders’ Cup Classic as 6-5 favorites. 6 in Del Mar.
This was Medina Spirit’s first attempt against the old horses and he took the test like a math magician.
“It was a really great performance. He handled it… He didn’t take a deep breath. The farther the better for him,” said trainer Bob Baffert.
The Hall of Famer said he has no worries about encountering older horses for the first time.
“It’s that time of year where 3-year-olds catch up with older horses,” Baffert said. “I wasn’t really worried about running up against older horses, and these (3 year olds) are tough horses – hot rod (Charlie), essential quality, good horses.”
When the Medina Spirit is allowed to carve the fractions 23.34, 47.72 and 1:11.76, he is going to be a tough horse to beat. He won for the fifth time in nine races and was never worse than third.
“He just keeps getting better and better. I can see it,” Baffert said. “He is getting stronger. He is a really good horse, and what he did against these horses today is just amazing.
Baffert thought that many of the fans who showed up on Saturday were rooting for the winner.
“A lot of people were watching him grieve,” he said. “You can tell from the crowd, the noise that they were all pulling for him. It’s a very emotional victory for all of us involved. I’m just glad he showed up.”
rodeo drive stakes
Going to Vegas, even the favorite, had enough left over to grab luck head-on and win the $300,000 Grade I Turf Race, which earned the winner a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Philly & Mare Turf in November. 6 in Del Mar.
Ruled by Umberto Rispoli and coached by Richard Baltas, the 4-year-old GoldenSaints wired to the gate, scoring fractions of 24.35, 48.72 and 1:13.49 en route to a final time of 1:58.84 for the mile and a quarter. .
The win was the third consecutive win for Going to Vegas and the fourth in their last five games. She has won four out of six this year and won first grade on her third try.
John Henry Turf Championship
United closed firmly to win the three-horse photo finish at Acclimat and Friars Road, giving jockey Flavian Pratt his third stakes win and fourth win on an 11-race card.
The 6-year-old gelded son of the Richard Mandela-trained Giants’ Causeway closed in on the $2 million mark in earnings with his 10th win in 22 starts. The winner’s share of $180,000 increased his career bankroll to $1,873,545.
United, ninth overall in the 12-horse lineup, beat the pace-setting Acclimate to a nose. It was another nose ahead of Friars Road, betting 15-1 down at 4-1 on the morning line.
The final time for 1 1/8 mile was 1:58.41.
Santa Anita Sprint Championship
Dr. Shiwell paid all-expenses for the Breeders’ Cup sprint by going wire to wire for a 3 1/4-length victory in a $200,000 Grade II race. It was his fifth consecutive win and his fourth win with Pratt.
The 3-year-old Violence colt is 3-0 in 2021, going into Saturday’s race from a win in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes in Del Mar on 31 July. Doctor. Schiell, who went on as a 9-5 favorite afterward, has been undefeated since being transferred to trainer Mark Glatt’s barn following his win at the 2020 Del Mar Futurity.
Flagstaff, 7-2 third choice, finished second, one nose in front of CZ Rocket, 2-1 second choice. The final time for 6 furlongs was 1:09.44.
city mile of hope
Trainer Peter Miller believes Mo Forza is the best turf miller in the country, and Uncle Mo’s 5-year-old son has worked to dispel that notion in a $200,000 Grade II event for kids 3 years and up. did nothing for
Fifth and last after the first half-mile, the 3-5 favorite ran 1 mile in 1:32.45 to pull off a powerful closing kick in the last eighth of a mile to shore up Smooth Like Strait from a half-length.
Ruled by Pratt, Mo Forza won his fourth consecutive race and won eight of his last nine. He achieved millionaire status on Saturday, bringing his career earnings to $1,034,460.