West Coast registered his first graded stakes success with a convincing tally in the Los Alamitos Derby. With jockey Drayden Van Dyke stepping in for Hall of Famer Mike Smith, who was in Delaware to ride champion Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) to victory in the GI Delaware H., the favorite ran in a three-wide fourth early and was floated out a few more paths rounding the first turn as Cistron (The Factor) clocked an opening quarter in :23.73. West Coast continued to run several paths off the rail in fifth as Cistron was pressed along by comebacking Grade I winner Klimt through a half in :47.89 and three-quarters in 1:11.64. Still left with plenty of work to do at the top of the long Los Alamitos stretch, the Bob Baffert trainee steadily progressed down the center of the track, rolling by his rivals late under a hand ride to score a decisive victory. “TDN Rising Star” Klimt, last seen finishing eighth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nov. 5, finished second in his first start since being transferred from Baffert to trainer Art Sherman.
“This horse is improving all the time,” Baffert said. “He’s starting to settle down. [Van Dyke] was instructed to wait, wait and wait with him. If you go too early with him, he doesn’t finish. It was sort of a gamble to sit back there, but it paid off because you need to be patient with him. He took off the last eighth of a mile. He needs to learn how to run like that. Mission accomplished.”
The Hall of Famer added, “We’ll look at the [GI] Travers [S. at Saratoga Aug. 26]. A mile and a quarter should suit him. If he comes out of this race well and trains well, we’ll go. I think it would be a good spot for him.”
Graduating at second asking at Santa Anita Mar. 12, West Coast came up a head short of Senior Investment (Discreetly Mine) when second in Keenland’s GIII Stonestreet Lexington S. Apr. 15. Returning to Arcadia to clear his first-level allowance condition May 20, the $425,000 KEESEP buy was briefly being considered for the GI Belmont S. June 10, but was instead re-routed to the Easy Goer S. on the undercard, where he scored a facile victory.
West Coast is out of champion Caressing, who took home top juvenile filly honors in 2000 after a victory in that term’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She also won the 2001 GI La Troienne S. and retired in the summer of 2002 with just shy of a $1 million in earnings. The 19-year-old mare was not bred back after producing West Coast and failed to get in foal to Bodemeister the following season, but produced a Carpe Diem colt Feb. 18 of this year. Caressing is also responsible for GSP Juan and Bina (Indian Charlie) and Gold Hawk (Empire Maker).
Saturday, Los Alamitos Race Course
LOS ALAMITOS DERBY-GIII, $200,690, LRC, 7-15, 3yo, 1 1/8m, 1:48.65, ft.
1–@WEST COAST, 122, c, 3, by Flatter
1st Dam: Caressing (Ch. 2yo Filly-US, GISW, $955,998),
by Honour and Glory
2nd Dam: Lovin Touch, by Majestic Prince
3rd Dam: Forest Princess, by Fleet Nasrullah
($425,000 Ylg ’15 KEESEP). O-Gary & Mary West; B-CFP
Thoroughbreds LLC (KY); T-Bob Baffert; J-Drayden Van Dyke.
$120,000. Lifetime Record: 6-4-2-0, $323,800. *1/2 to Gold
Hawk (Empire Maker), GSP-$135,243; and Juan and Bina
(Indian Charlie), GSP-$179,020. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for
the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.2–Klimt, 122, c, 3, Quality Road–Inventive, by Dixie Union.
‘TDN Rising Star’ ($140,000 Ylg ’15 FTKJUL; $435,000 2yo ’16
OBSMAR). O-Kaleem Shah, Inc.; B-Thor-Bred Stables, LLC (KY);
T-Art Sherman. $40,000.3–B Squared, 122, c, 3, Square Eddie–Silar Rules, by Ten Most
Wanted. O/B-Reddam Racing, LLC (CA); T-Doug F. O’Neill.
Margins: 2 3/4, NO, HD. Odds: 0.40, 7.30, 12.60.
Also Ran: Colonist, Cistron, Kimbear, Term of Art. Scratched: Milton Freewater.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.