WELL FANCIED NADAL IS ALL BUSINESS IN TAKING GRADE II, $200,000 SAN VICENTE STAKES BY THREE QUARTERS OF A LENGTH UNDER ROSARIO; TRAINED BY BAFFERT, HE GETS SEVEN FURLONGS IN RAPID 1:22.59
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2020)–Despite the fact he was making only his second start and was facing the reigning Eclipse Champion Juvenile Male, Bob Baffert’s Nadal was hammered down to 1-5 favoritism in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita and he responded with a gutty three quarter length win. Ridden by Joel Rosario, he got seven furlongs in a rapid 1:22.59.
Breaking sharply from post position four in a field of six sophomores, Nadal got early pressure from longshot Party Town to his inside and was seriously challenged to his outside around the far turn and to the sixteenth pole by a very tenacious Ginobili.
“Today, I told Joel, ‘Don’t get cute, just go,'” said Baffert, who registered his record 10th win in the iconic prep to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. “‘We can rate him some other day.’ They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat. I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work…I thought he was gonna get beat. He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now. This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park March 14).”
A handy 3 ¾ length maiden winner going 6 ½ furlongs here on Jan. 19, Nadal paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10.
Owned by George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman and Mark Mathiesen, Nadal, a Kentucky-bred colt by Blame who sold for $700,000 at the Fasig Tipton Florida March Selected 2-year-olds in Training Sale, is out of the Pulpit mare Ascending Angel. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $153,000 while unbeaten in two starts.
For his part, Ginobili, who had been idle since running a close fourth in a five furlong turf stakes here on Oct. 6, ran a massive race in defeat, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Fast Enough. Ridden by Abel Cedillo, Ginobili, who is trained by Richard Baltas, was off at 12-1 and paid $6.00 and $4.00.
Last early, Fast Enough split horses turning for home and just held off Storm the Court by a neck for third money. Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Fast Enough was off at 14-1 and paid $3.60 to show.
Storm the Court, who had been idle since winning the Grade I Breeder’s Cup Juvenile here on Nov. 1, was the second choice at 3-1 and was beaten approximately 2 ½ lengths in a race that he likely needed.
Fractions on the race were 21.81, 44.09 and 1:09.05.