Newgrange won the $ 100,000 Sham Stakes 2 3/4 lengths ahead of teammate Rockefeller in Santa Anita on Saturday, giving coach Bob Baffert two Kentucky Derby prospects.
Baffert earned his third straight victory in the 3rd year Sham in the 3-year-old category and his eighth overall.
John Velazquez on Newgrange and Flavien Prat on Rockefeller jostled their horses from the starting grid. The two settled in at a steady pace, with Newgrange keeping a lead in front of the three-meter post.
Newgrange was in the driver’s seat to come home and completed a mile in 1: 38.32. Sent off as a 5-2 third pick, he paid $ 7.40, $ 3.40 and $ 2.40. Rockefeller, the 3-2 favorite in the field of five, brought in $ 2.60 and $ 2.20.
âHe had trained really well and was working with Rockefeller. The quality is there, âBaffert said via text message from the nearby Rose Bowl, where he was attending the New Years game between the No.7 from Ohio State and the No.10 from Utah.
âI thought Rockefeller would be a little closer. We’ll have to figure out where the two go from here.
Oviatt Class was another nose back in third and paid $ 2.40 to show coach Keith Desormeaux. Mackinnon, coached by Doug O’Neill and co-owner of Colorado Avalance defenseman Erik Johnson, was fourth. The degree of risk was fifth.
No horse trained by Baffert is currently eligible for Kentucky Derby qualifying points as part of its ban by Churchill Downs. That’s the result of last year’s Derby winner Medina Spirit, who failed a post-race drug test for a banned substance on race day in Kentucky.
Sham awarded 10 points to the winner, four points to runner-up, two points to the Oviatt class and one point to Mackinnon.
In the $ 200,000 La Canada Stakes, As Time Goes By took the lead a quarter mile from the finish and won by 13 1/2 lengths.
Prat earned his fifth victory on the 10-race map.
The 5 year old mare was sent off as a 3-5 favorite in the field of five fillies and older mares. She paid $ 3.20, $ 2.20 and $ 2.10. As Time Goes By covered 1 1/16 miles in 1: 44.31.
Park Avenue grossed $ 3.20 and $ 2.20. Moonlight d’Oro was still 4 1/4 lengths in third position.