Baffert Enters Two
A promising pair of homebreds, Hal and Patti Earnhardt’s Ax Man and Kaleem Shah’s All Out Blitz head a field of six sophomores going seven furlongs in Saturday’s , $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. It's the 78th running of the Grade II San Vicente.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Ax Man was a devastating 9 1/2- length first-out maiden winner going six furlongs at the track on Jan. 1. Connections hope to take him down the Derby Trail with another impressive score as he approaches a two-turn assignment in the near future.
Baffert also trains Nero, a $950,000 purchase that broke his maiden sprinting at the track on Jan. 15 after a long layoff from his debut.
Trained by Simon Callaghan, All Out Blitz cuts back in distance following a second place finish to Baffert’s highly regarded McKinzie in the Sham Stakes on Jan. 6. A gutty nose maiden winner two starts back on Dec. 17 at Los Alamitos, All Out Blitz appears better suited sprinting by his trainer.
AX MAN - Ax Man is a half brother to two-time Eclipse Champ Indian Blessing. Off at 7-5 versus nine rivals in his winning sprint debut, Ax Man was further flattered by the fact that Lombo, who finished third, beaten 10 1/2 lengths, came back to easily win this past Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes. With Drayden Van Dyke set to ride him back, Ax Man figures to pose an elusive front-running target in the San Vicente.
ALL OUT BLITZ - Simon Callaghan trains All Out Blitz, a son of super-stallion Tapit. Sent to the front in the Sham Stakes, All Out Blitz finished four lengths in front of the third horse, but was no match for McKinzie through the drive, as he was beaten 3 1/2 lengths at odds of 14-1. Unlike Ax Man, he is not Triple Crown nominated and looks to be kept at sprint distances for the time being. With a win, a second and a third place finish from his four starts, All Out Blitz will likely sit second early under Tyler Baze as they try to keep the favorite within their sights.
KRIS’ ROCKET KAT - The Richard Baltas trainee has been ddle since an impressive 3 1/4-length maiden win going six furlongs on Nov. 25 at Del Mar. This chestnut colt by Eskendereya will hope to get on the Derby Trail with a big effort. A well-beaten fifth in his debut at the track on Sept. 30 at odds of 21-1, he was off at 4-1 in a field of 11 for the maiden score. A $105,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase.
Race 5 of Race of 10. Approximate post time 5:30 ET
1. Ax Man, Drayden Van Dyke, 120
2. Mr. Jagermeister, Geovanni Franco, 120
3. Nero, Victor Espinoza, 120
4. All Out Blitz, Tyler Baze-, 120
5. Kanthaka, Flavien Prat, 120
6. Kris’ Rocket Kat, Rafael Bejarano, 120
Edited Santa Anita release with additional content by Dick Downey