Candy Ride's Geaux Rocket Ride Much The Best In Affirmed

Geaux Rocket Ride | Benoit

Pin Oak Stud's Geaux Rocket Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) checked stakes winner off his list with an off-the-pace victory in the Affirmed S. at The Great Race Place late on Sunday afternoon.

After a sparkling 5 3/4 length debut win Jan. 29 at Santa Anita, the bay colt was second in the GII San Felipe S. to Practical Move (Practical Joke) before he was sidelined with a slightly-elevated fever before the GI Santa Anita Derby.

Off at odds of 1-2 here, Geaux Rocket Ride was determined to live up to his price as he tracked Del Mar Jerry (Mastery) and Hard to Figure (Hard Spun), who were engaged in a speed duel into the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch. Given his cue rounding the far turn, the Richard Mandella trainee ranged up on the pair, went right by both of them and rolled down the lane to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Mr Fisk (Arrogate).

“He's just a classy little dude,” said trainer Richard Mandella. “We will probably look into the [GI] Haskell S. We are going to enjoy this one today, but that will be the one we look to.”

The first to make the races for his dam, who counts MSP Mighty Mo as a full-brother, Geaux Rocket Ride's latest sibling is a filly by Rowayton who was foaled Mar. 6.

AFFIRMED S., $100,000, Santa Anita, 6-4, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:43.75, ft.
1–GEAUX ROCKET RIDE, 120, c, 3, by Candy Ride (Arg)
                1st Dam: Beyond Grace, by Uncle Mo
                2nd Dam: Flowers Athefinish, by Grand Reward
                3rd Dam: Golden Petal, by Mr. Prospector
($350,000 Ylg '21 FTKJUL). 1ST BLACK TYPE WIN. O-Pin Oak Stud LLC; B-OXO Equine LLC (KY); T-Richard E. Mandella; J-Ramon A. Vazquez. $60,000. Lifetime Record: GSP, 3-2-1-0, $180,200.
2–Mr Fisk, 120, c, 3, Arrogate–Plein Air (Ire), by Manduro (Ger). 1ST BLACK TYPE. O/B-Sunny Brook Stables (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $20,000.
3–Hard to Figure, 120, c, 3, Hard Spun–Ani La, by Mr. Greeley.
($40,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP; $200,000 2yo '22 OBSMAR). O-Michael E. Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman; B-James Heyward (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $12,000.
Margins: 1 3/4, 6, 2 3/4. Odds: 0.50, 4.10, 6.90.
Also Ran: Ze'bul, Del Mar Jerry. Scratched: Skinner.
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