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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Kanthaka Cuts Back to One Turn in Barrera


Bob Baffert could be holding a strong hand with Zulfikhar and McKale as he approaches Saturday’s Lazaro Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita, but they will have to deal Kanthaka, who won impressively at the Barrera seven furlong distance in February's San Vicente Stakes.

When McKale and Zulfikhar last they met on April 15, were separated by a half length at the finish line. While these two stablemates appear to be on the ascent, Kanthaka could regain his top form cutting back to one turn after a couple of tries on the Kentucky Derby Trail.

Owner:  West Point Thoroughbreds
Trainer:  Jerry Hollendorfer

With a winning move from off the pace, this Kentucky-bred colt by Jimmy Creed took the San Vicente Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths on Feb. 10 and was subsequently third, beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Baffert’s highly accomplished McKinzie when stretched out to 1 1/16 mile in the San Felipe Stakes March 10.  In his most recent start, Kanthaka was a disappointing sixth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths, in the 1 1/8-mile Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 7.  Although he should appreciate the return to sprinting, Kanthaka drew the rail and has talented opposition.

Owner:  Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum
Trainer:  Bob Baffert

A $750,000 Fasig Tipton March 2-year-old in training sale purchase 14 months ago, this Kentucky-bred colt by Bodemeister lagged early off of torrid splits in a field of five allowance sophomores going 6 1/2 furlongs on April 15 and went on to a half-length win.  An impressive 3 3/4-length first-out maiden winner going five furlongs at Los Alamitos July 7, he resurfaced in a 1 1/16 mile first condition allowance on Feb. 19 at Oaklawn Park. The 3-2 favorite in a field of nine, he caught a muddy racetrack and ended up fourth, beaten 4 3/4 lengths after a wide trip. With a recent win under his belt, Zulfikhar appears poised to bring an “A” performance in his third start off a lengthy absence.

Owner:  Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman
Trainer:  Bob Baffert

Head and head through splits of 21.60, 44.80 and 1:09.60, he was unable to hold off his stablemate Zulfikhar when beaten a half length as the 1-2 favorite in his second career start on April 15.  A $140,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase in 2016, he was a first-out maiden winner at the track on March 10, airing by 2 1/4 lengths as the 3-5 favorite.  A Maryland-bred colt by Congrats, McKale has trained in an impressive manner since his last start, evidenced by a pair of bullet five furlong works, the first on May 2 in 59.20 and most recently on May 7, a 58.20 move, best of 57 at the distance.

Race 5 of 9
Approximate post time 2:30 p.m. PT
1.    Kanthaka—Flavien Prat—124
2.    Calexman—Alonso Quinonez—120
3.    McKale—Drayden Van Dyke—120
4.    Zulfikhar—Martin Garcia—120
5.    King Cause—Geovanni Franco—120
6.    Bocephus—Stewart Elliott—120
7.    Beautiful Shot—Kent Desormeaux—122
First post time for a nine-race card on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m.  Admission gates open at 10 a.m.  For additional racing information, please visit santaanita.com.

Edited Santa Anita release

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