Bob Baffert-trained Concert Tour wins San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita
It’s the most familiar story in horse racing. Bob Baffert has another good 3-year-old, or in this case two of them. The six-time winner of the Kentucky Derby put two more colts into the middle of the Derby trail Saturday with first- and second-place finishes in the Grade 2 $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.
Concert Tour got up just at the wire to beat a very game Freedom Fighter by a half-length to win the seven-furlong race. Freedom Fighter and The Chosen Vron got caught up in a speed duel while Concert Tour was running an easy race in third. On the far turn, Concert Tour made his move and appeared headed for a comfortable win. But Freedom Fighter wouldn’t give up and the two ran stride for stride until the final jumps, where Concert Tour won the race.
Each horse had won its first race. The pair join Medina Spirit, winner of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, and Life Is Good, winner of the Sham Stakes, as Baffert horses that will be contenders to get to the Kentucky Derby. On Sunday, Baffert has another promising prospect in Bezos, who will be making his first start in a maiden race.
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“It was a good race for both of them,” Baffert said. “I learned a lot about [Concert Tour], how he wants to run and maybe he doesn’t need blinkers. He’s pretty sharp. That’s why we have these races. Now they go to where I can stretch them out. This horse has two races under his belt, but those were two really good horses.”
Baffert doesn’t know which horses will stay in Southern California and which will be shipped east for their next race. The next major race for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita is the San Felipe Stakes on March 6.
Concert Tour paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.10. The Chosen Vron was third, followed by Found My Ball and Uncle Boogie.
The San Vicente was one of four graded stakes Saturday at Santa Anita.
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In a 3-year-old filly race for Kentucky Oaks points, Moonlight d’Oro found her best stride in the stretch to easily go past Kalypso to win the Grade 3 $200,000 Las Virgenes by 1½ lengths. She was running at the back of the compact five-horse field for the first half of the race before making a move on the far turn and assuming the lead at the top of the stretch.
Moonlight d’Oro, trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Flavien Prat, paid $4.60 to win as the second choice.
The Grade 2 $200,000 San Marcos was won by Masteroffoxhounds, who overcame a slow pace to pass the leader Acclimate and win by 1¼ lengths. Masteroffoxhounds paid $5.40 to win in the 1¼-mile turf race.
Also, Hit the Road won the Grade 3 $100,000 Thunder Road for horses going one mile on the turf. Hit the Road ran just off the pace until the far turn, where he got moving and rolled through the stretch to win by 3¾ lengths. He paid $8.20 to win.
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