Baffert American Pharoah Grand Slam a First; Cave Rock Earns 104 Beyer

October 9, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif.— Bob Baffert is accustomed to winning the American Pharoah Stakes, having captured the race named for his 2015 Triple Crown king 10 times in the past 25 runnings through last year.

But the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer experienced a first in the 52nd version of the race yesterday, winning for the 11th time as his four starters finished one, two, three and four in the field of eight two-year-olds. Cave Rock, the 2-5 favorite, led throughout the mile and one-sixteenth race to win by 5 ¼ lengths, earning himself a 104 Beyer Speed Figure.

The son of Arrogate was followed by National Treasure, Hejazi and Gandolfini.

“I can’t remember ever running one, two, three, four,” Baffert said after the sweep. “The really good ones come around quickly and Cave Rock’s always been different, built a bit different than Arrogate (who sired two other winners Saturday).

“He’s powerful, stronger and quick. He runs with his head sort of low like Arrogate. He keeps improving and trains easily.

“I really don’t work him too fast; you have to count on their talent to get them there. Those were some good horses behind him; you’re going to hear about them down the road.”

Baffert’s quartet did not come on the cheap, Gandolfini fetching $470,000, Cave Rock $550,000, National Treasure $500,000 and Hejazi $3,550,000 for a total of $5,070,000.

The winner of the American Pharoah received $180,000 plus 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The runner-up earned four points, the third-place finisher two and the fourth one.

The nominated winner is entitled to a fees-paid entry into the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Keeneland on Nov. 4.

Santa Anita Park Press Release/Edited

Photo: Cave Rock wins the G1 American Pharoah (Ernie Belmonte)

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