TDN RISING STARS

February 13, 2014 - Santa Anita, Race 7, Alw, USD $58,000, 1m, NW1$X

Bayern, c, 3, 2011 by Offlee Wild

1st Dam: Alittlebitearly, by Thunder Gulch
2nd Dam: Aquilegia, by Alydar
3rd Dam: Courtly Dee, by Never Bend

Owner: Kaleem Shah Inc
Breeder: Helen Alexander (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert

A $320,000 FTMMAY juvenile purchase, Bayern was bet down to 4-5 favoritism for his Jan. 4 debut going seven furlongs over this main track and dueled on a strong pace before stretching away to graduate by a widening 3 1/4 lengths. His work since then had been exemplary, including a race-like six furlongs from the gate in 1:11 flat Feb. 6, and he was sent off the 4-5 favorite against fellow "TDN Rising Star" Tap It Rich (Tapit). Getting the blinkers off for this first two-turn voyage, the 3-5 favorite was the first out from the one hole and set the pace one off the inside under a snug hold from Gary Stevens into the clubhouse turn. He got some pressure and ultimately conceded the advantage to the slow-starting Brother Soldier (Brother Derek) at the five-eighths pole, but counterpunched underneath that one and led into the second turn. He began to draw effortlessly clear rounding the bend, was asked for a bit of run at the quarter-mile marker and covered his final quarter mile in :24 flat en route to a 15-length tour-de-force before being asked to gallop out an extra furlong by his rider. "When I asked him to pick it up at the eighth pole, he just opened up," Gary Stevens, regular jockey of GII Robert B. Lewis S. winner Candy Boy (Candy Ride {Arg}). "He was just very relaxed throughout and I just galloped him until turning for home." Added victorious trainer Bob Baffert, "You wanted to see something like that, it was special to watch. This is what you want to see and get your hopes up. He looked a lot like Bodemeister out there." Tap It Rich, equipped with blinkers for the first time, was sluggish into stride and proved a tough ride for Mike Smith while headstrong into the first turn. He settled a bit down the backstretch while tracking three wide, but was no match for his stablemate. The winner hails from the extended productive female family of champion Althea. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $68,400.

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