Speed Boat Beach Takes The Malibu For the Three Amigos

Speed Boat Beach | Horsephotos

Favored Speed Boat Beach (Bayern) led home a one-two finish for Bob Baffert in the GI Malibu S. at Santa Anita Tuesday, putting away stablemate Hejazi (Bernardini) down the lane to give the trainer his record-tying sixth win in the race–and third in the last four years–and longtime owners Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman and Karl Watson their first victory in the Arcadia track's traditional opening-day feature.

“Turning for home I knew I was going to win it,” Baffert said. “I wasn't sure which one it was going to be, I would have liked to run one, two, three. Speed Boat Beach has always shown since his first out that he was something special, hopefully he can build from this.”

Hejazi, who topped the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale on Gary Young's bid of $3.55 million on behalf of Amr Zedan, won the break and had the lead in the early strides, but Speed Boat Beach, last seen finishing fourth after setting a quick tempo in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint, rushed up to prompt his stablemate through fractions of :22.21 and :44.42. He took a narrow lead into the far turn, but Hejazi came right back and looked to be traveling with authority only to have Speed Boat Beach cut the corner into the lane and scamper clear, leaving Hejazi to chase in vain.

“He was really sharp early,” said winning jockey Flavien Prat, who rode Flightline to victory in last year's Malibu. “I got him to relax and we took a little breather. Around the turn, he really went well. He didn't mind being on the inside. He was really in a good rhythm today.”

Speed Boat Beach stretched out to a mile to win the GIII Cecil B. DeMille S. over the Del Mar lawn last December, but was sidelined nearly 10 months after that effort. He returned with a gallant runner-up effort in the six-furlong GII Santa Anita Sprint Championship Sept. 30, earning a berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Sprint where he settled for fourth after setting the pace.

“His issue is that he has always been very aggressive,” Baffert said of Speed Boat Beach. “He's aggressive in the mornings and aggressive in his races. We have been working on getting him relaxed, a lot of schooling. I've got a great team, my riders and my assistants they have been working him a lot. Prat worked him for me today and he actually worked really well with Prat. He got along with him really well, got him to come off the bit a little bit. I was worried about my other horses they were going to be in there with him.”

Of the runner-up, Baffert added, “Hejazi is a serious horse. He was a little bit keen today. We weren't able to train this last week. Juan [Hernandez] was telling me he couldn't get him to relax very well so he used himself up a little bit. I see big things for him down the road.”

Pedigree Notes:

Speed Boat Beach is one of four graded winners–and the first top-level victor–for GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern, who now stands in South Korea. The winner is the first foal out of the unraced Sophia Mia, who has a yearling filly by Volatile–who sold for $140,000 at the Keeneland September sale–and a weanling filly by Army Mule. The mare, a daughter of multiple graded placed Amie's Dini, RNA'd for $390,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton November sale and was bred to Not This Time this year. Her 2-year-old daughter Midnight Snack (Distorted Humor) sold to Alistair Roden on behalf of MKW Racing and Breeding for $485,000 at this year's OBS April sale.

Tuesday, Santa Anita
MALIBU S.-GI, $301,000, Santa Anita, 12-26, 3yo, 7f, 1:21.70, ft.
1–SPEED BOAT BEACH, 120, c, 3, by Bayern
                1st Dam: Sophia Mia, by Pioneerof the Nile
                2nd Dam: Amie's Dini, by Bandini
                3rd Dam: Run Kate Run, by Cherokee Run
   1ST GRADE I WIN. ($12,000 Ylg '21 OBSOCT; $200,000 2yo
'22 OBSMAR). O-Michael E. Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul
Weitman; B-Caperlane Farm (FL); T-Bob Baffert; J-Flavien
Prat. $180,000. Lifetime Record: 7-4-1-0, $498,000.
Werk Nick Rating: A++. Click for the
   eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree or the free
   Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Hejazi, 120, c, 3, Bernardini–G Note, by Medaglia d'Oro.
($3,550,000 2yo '22 EASMAY). O-Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.;
B-Chester Broman & Mary R. Broman (NY); T-Bob Baffert.
3–Giant Mischief, 120, c, 3, Into Mischief–Vertical Oak, by
($475,000 Ylg '21 KEESEP). O-Bakster Farm LLC, Big Easy
Racing LLC, Kueber Racing LLC, Spendthrift Farm LLC, Steve
Landers Racing LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Ten Strike
Racing, Titletown Racing Stables, Winners Win, M. Caruso,
Dubb, and M. Schwartz; B-Stonestreet Thoroughbred

Holdings LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox. 'TDN Rising Star' $36,000.
Margins: 1HF, 3, 2 1/4. Odds: 1.60, 2.10, 10.90.
Also Ran: Damon's Mound, Raise Cain, Fort Bragg, Sharp Aza Tack. Scratched: Matanzas Creek.
Click for the Equibase.com chart or the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by FanDuel TV.


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