Trainer Bob Baffert has three likely starters set to line up in the Dec. 26 GI Malibu S., led by GI Pennsylvania Derby winner McKinzie (Street Sense). The sophomore colt, looking to rebound from a 12th-place finish in the Nov. 3 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic, worked six furlongs in a bullet 1:13.20 (1/23) Sunday at Santa Anita.
“He worked really nice,” Baffert said Monday. “He’s doing really well. I freshened him up a little after the Breeders’ Cup, and, in retrospect, he wasn’t ready to go a mile and a quarter… but I thought I had him back. The Breeders’ Cup took me out of my normal program. It’s a lot of money and it seemed right, but he just didn’t show up. I like the way he’s training here for seven-eighths.”
Ax Man (Misremembered), off since finishing third in the July 14 GIII Los Alamitos Derby, earned the bullet for his six-furlong work at Santa Anita Saturday when he covered the distance in 1:12.20 (1/19).
“He’s doing really well,” Baffert said of the gelding. “We cut him. He had a meltdown at Churchill Downs [when third in the June 16 GIII] Matt Winn], so we gave him some time off and he’s been working exceptionally well.”
Also expected for the Malibu is Solomini (Curlin), who has not raced since finishing third in the June 10 GIII Affirmed S. The chestnut colt worked six furlongs Saturday in 1:13.60 (4/19).
“Solomini is coming off a layoff and has been freshened up,” Baffert said. “He’s an off-the-pace sort. I’d prefer running him in a little allowance race, but the Malibu is a Grade I, and when you have horses with their breeding, you have to take a shot.”