ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 16, 2014)–Red Outlaw, with Joel Rosario up, prevailed in a head and head battle the length of the stretch to take Sunday’s $75,000 Baffle Stakes by a head over favored Gangnam Guy and Victor Espinoza, getting 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.05.
The second choice at 5-2 in a field of seven 3-year-olds, Red Outlaw broke alertly from post six and sat a close second down the hill to longshot Noble Metal through fractions of 21.64, 43.69 and 1:06.39. He was carried wide by the pacesetter crossing the dirt at the top of the lane and was immediately engaged to his outside by the favorite as the field straightened for home and those two bumped a furlong out, resulting in a stewards’ inquiry.
After a review of several minutes, the stewards ruled unanimously that the contact did not affect the original order of finish and they let the original result stand.
Trained by Peter Miller, Red Outlaw paid $7.20, $4.00 and $3.40.
“He was very game down the stretch,” said Miller. “Joel just hand-rode him, never hit him and maybe he figured that when he ducked out a little he didn’t want to use the stick at all. Every time that other horse came to us, he just gave Joel a little more.”
A California-bred gelding by Tribal Rule, Red Outlaw picked up $60,600 for the win, more than doubling his earnings to $115,200. Owned by Blinkers On Racing Stable, Aurelio, Bizovi and partners, Red Outlaw is unbeaten in three starts at three different tracks.
“I tried to correct him as best I could,” said Rosario of the bumping incident. “The other horse was laying on us a bit too. I wasn’t too concerned with it.”
Off at 9-5, Gangnam Guy was full of run crossing the dirt and although he got on terms with the winner late, he could never put him away and paid $3.40 and $2.80.
Off at 17-1, Horse Laugh, ridden by apprentice Drayden Van Dyke, finished a nose in front of Royal Banker and Corey Nakatani and paid $6.60 to show.