ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2018)–Five lengths off the lead with a quarter mile to run, favored Dabster kept to his task and overhauled second choice Air Vice Marshal late to win Friday’s $58,000 Santa Anita allowance feature going away by 1 ¾ lengths under Flavien Prat. Trained by Bob Baffert, Dabster got a flat mile in 1:37.59.
A gate to wire one mile maiden winner three starts back in January of last year, Dabster, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt by Curlin, was most recently a well beaten seventh here in the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26.
“He wants to go two turns,” said Baffert. “He’s never been a real eager horse in the morning, but in the afternoon, he lays it down. He’ll go further, he was really running there at the end.”
Unbeaten now in two mile races, Dabster was off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of five older horses and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.10.
Owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Dabster is now three for five and with the winner’s check of $34,800, he increased his earnings to $115,785.
Sent from his number four post position by Mike Smith, it appeared Air Vice Marshal had the pace slowed to his liking as he was engaged to his outside by Donworth mid-way around the far turn. With what appeared to be plenty in reserve, Air Vice Marshal shrugged off the challenge of Donworth while hand-ridden, but couldn’t keep the winner at bay inside the sixteenth pole.
Off at 2-1, Air Vice Marshal finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Donworth and paid $3.20 and $2.20.
Ridden by Evin Roman, Donworth, who was also off at 2-1, paid $2.20 to show as he finished three lengths in front of Grazen Sky.
Fractions on the race were 23.57, 47.29, 1:11.85 and 1:24.55.
Note: Special early first post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com.