TDN Top Triple Crown Contenders


9) NEWGRANGE (c, Violence–Bella Chianti, by Empire Maker)
O-Golconda Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, SF Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Starlight Racing, Stonestreet Stables, LLC, Waves Edge Capital LLC, Catherine Donovan, Robert E. Masterson & Jay A. Schoenfarber. B-Jack Mandato & Black Rock Thoroughbreds (KY). T-Bob Baffert. Sales History: $125,000 yrl '20 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: GSW, 2-2-0-0, $102,000. Last Star: 1st GIII Sham S. Next Start: Uncommitted. KY Derby Points: N/A

With a 2 3/4-length win in Saturday's GIII Sham S., this Baffert trainee is two-for-two without having yet been unleashed to his full potential. This $125,000 KEESEP colt by Violence controlled an even-tempoed mile en route to an 88 Beyer (eight points better than his winning six-furlong debut). But the major visual takeaway was how effortlessly Newgrange opened up on his favored stablemate, Rockefeller (Medaglia d'Oro), three-eighths from home while Rockefeller was ridden with greater urgency.    “There was one speed, the other Bob Baffert horse, and I'm pretty sure he didn't want them in a head-and-head,” jockey John Velazquez said. “He told me to put my horse on the lead. Once my horse got to the lead he waited. I took a little hold of him [and] by the time we got to the backside I kind of let him do his own thing. I let him get in a comfortable rhythm. After that it was pretty easy. He's so green…I had to give him a little reminder to keep his mind on running. And his gallop-out was pretty good, so it still seems like he's learning.”


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