May 18, 2018 - Santa Anita, Race 6, Msw, USD $54,000, 6F
Explorer, C, 3, 2015 by Orb
1st Dam: Remember, by Forest Wildcat
2nd Dam: Dancinginmydreams, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Oh What a Dance, by Nijinsky II
Owner: LNJ Foxwoods & NK Racing
Breeder: Dattt Farm LLC (KY)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
LNJ Foxwoods and NK Racing’s Explorer (Orb), the second-highest priced juvenile at last year’s OBS March sale at $1.25 million and the most expensive produce for his second-crop sire (by Malibu Moon), ran the field off their feet, going gate-to-wire to become the newest ‘TDN Rising Star’ for Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Favored at 8-5 in this career bow, the bay seized the early advantage, ticking off a :21.85 opening quarter. Skipping clear on the backstretch run, he was briefly confronted by stablemate and $600,000 KEESEP buy Julius (Tapit), but he swiftly shut the door on that rival in the stretch, exploding clear to an impressive four-length score. Flagstaff (Speightstown), a $475,000 FTSAUG purchase out of a daughter of champion Fleet Indian (Indian Charlie), came running late for second, while Juddmonte’s Julius faded to fifth.
Picked up by J.J. Crupi for $350,000 as a KEESEP yearling, Explorer blossomed into a seven-figure juvenile after breezing in :10 flat. Out of the unraced Phipps-bred Remember, a daughter of GISP Dancinginmydreams (Seeking the Gold), the bay is a half-brother to LNJ’s ‘TDN Rising Star’ Wrath of Ruthie (Distorted Humor). The 14-year-old mare is also responsible for the 2-year-old colt Will Remember (Will Take Charge) and she produced an Honor Code colt Feb. 28 of this year.
The winner hails from a very deep Phipps family that includes champion Heavenly Prize (Seeking the Gold); MGISWs Good Reward (Storm Cat), Dancing Spree (Nijinsky II) and Finder’s Fee (Storm Cat); GISWs Persistently (Smoke Glacken) and Fantastic Find (Mr. Prospector); MGSW sire Pure Prize (Storm Cat); and GSW & GISP Instilled Regard (Arch), who was fourth in the GI Kentucky Derby two weeks ago.