With less than a quarter of a mile to run in the $200,000 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, Bob Baffert thought Touch The Wire, who wasn’t one of the three 4-year-olds the trainer had in the race, was going to win the Grade II race.
Baffert wasn’t alone in his opinion. After finding an opening on the inside, Touch The Wire, a 9-1 shot, had shot clear and looked to be on his way to his first stakes victory.
However, During, the most well-regarded of the Baffert trio, wasn’t done yet. A tenacious son of Cherokee Run, the 4-1 favorite rallied and went on to his sixth win in 14 starts.
Ridden by David Flores for owner Jim McIngvale, During, who chased pacesetter Excessivepleasure for most of the race, won by a length and completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.63.
Touch The Wire, meanwhile, didn’t even save second. Toccet, who has been getting drilled regularly in recent races, completed the exacta at 8-1.
“I would have liked to have run 1-2-3,” said Baffert, but he didn’t come close to that as Spensive and Senor Swinger ran fifth and sixth, respectively.
Baffert said of During: “He’s got a lot of heart. When he looks like he’s done, he just kicks back in gear again, sort of like Silver Charm used to do.
Purchased for $350,000 at Keeneland in September 2001, During has earned $649,030 while winning four graded stakes.
Baffert indicated During will run in the $300,000 Strub on Feb. 7.
Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, did what he was supposed to do in his first start as a 4-year-old, easily beating four opponents in a $46,000 optional claimer at Gulfstream Park in Florida.
Getting ready for a start in the $500,000 Donn Handicap on Feb. 7, the New York-bred gelding won by five lengths as the 2-5 favorite, covering seven furlongs in 1:22.83. It was the sixth win in 12 starts for Funny Cide but his first since his dominating win in the Preakness on May 17.
Trainer Bobby Frankel became the fourth trainer to reach 100 stakes wins at Santa Anita when Megahertz, the 3-5 favorite, won the $147,000 San Gorgonio Handicap.
Joining a list that includes the late Charlie Whittingham, who leads with 204, Ron McAnally (105) and Wayne Lukas (103), Frankel watched Megahertz win for the fifth time in eight starts on the Santa Anita turf course. She ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.51 under jockey Alex Solis.
Even-money favorite Skipaslew won the $100,000 Golden Gate Derby at Golden Gate Fields in Albany, Calif., beating 7-1 shot O.K. Mikie by a length in 1:41.84 for the 1 1/16 miles. Eric Saint-Martin rode the winner for owner Merv Griffin and trainer Doug O’Neill.