Strong One-Two Punch for Baffert in Stacked San Felipe


Authentic | Benoit Photo

Hall of Famer Bob Baffert sends out two of his (at least) four serious GI Kentucky Derby contenders in a short but stacked running of the GII San Felipe S. at Santa Anita Saturday. Favored at 6-5 on the morning line, Authentic (Into Mischief) was last seen greenly taking the GIII Sham S. here by 7 3/4 lengths over stablemate Azul Coast (Super Saver), who came back to snag the El Camino Real Derby. A $350,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by the powerhouse, stallion-making syndicate of SF Racing, Starlight, Madaket, et al, Authentic prepped for this with a solo six-furlong bullet breeze in 1:12.80 on Monday (XBTV Video).

Despite a slightly more decorated CV at this point, Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift’s Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile) is second choice behind his stablemate at 9-5 on the line. The $1-million KEESEP grad has done nothing but win in gritty fashion in three tries, but perhaps hasn’t yet displayed the brilliance that Authentic or fellow Baffert-trained sophomores Charlatan (Speightstown) or Nadal (Blame) have. A half-length debut graduate sprinting here Oct. 26, he bested GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile runner-up Anneau d’Or (Medaglia d’Oro) by a neck in the Dec. 7 GII Los Alamitos Futurity and most recently scored by 3/4 of a length in the track-and-trip GIII Robert B. Lewis S. Feb. 1.

Honor A. P. (Honor Code), an $850,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga grad himself, makes his much-anticipated return to the races after airing by 5 1/4 lengths on the stretch-out here Oct. 13. Second that day was Tizamagician (Tiznow), who broke through three starts later before finishing fourth in the Bob Lewis.

It’s not often that the 2-year-old champion would be the fourth choice on the morning line in a March Derby prep, but that’s the case with Storm the Court (Court Vision). The Peter Eurton pupil was a head-scratching, 45-1 winner of the year-end championship event here Nov. 1, but was fourth behind aforementioned ‘TDN Rising Star’ Nadal in the GII San Vicente S. over seven panels here Feb. 9.

Wrecking Crew (Sky Kingdom), third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, was fourth in the Los Al Futurity.


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