Baffert Sends Out Quartet in Sunday’s G2 San Vicente

January 26, 2023

Havnameltdown gallops Jan. 18 (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Santa Anita Press Release

ARCADIA, Calif. — To the surprise of no one, Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes goes through Bob Baffert. The trainer of nine out of the 11 horses nominated to the seven furlong stakes for Derby hopefuls, Baffert has entered four out of the five that are scheduled to run Sunday at Santa Anita.

A two-time graded stakes winner, Baffert’s Havnameltdown, fresh off a 1 ¼ length score going seven eighths in the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes Nov. 20 at Del Mar, rates top billing with leading man Juan Hernandez aloft.

A first-out maiden five furlong winner July 24, Havnameltdown then marched to a gate to wire victory in the Grade III Best Pal Stakes at six furlongs Aug. 14.  In his only defeat, Havnameltdown ran second, beaten 5 ½ lengths by his highly regarded stablemate Cave Rock in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 11.

Owned by longtime Baffert clients Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Florida-bred Havnameltdown, a bay colt by the Lion Heart stallion Uncaptured, was purchased for $200,000 out of the Ocala Breeders Sales 2-year-old in Training Sale this past April.  With three wins from four starts, he’s the leading money earner in the field with $288,000.

A 2 ¾ length first-out maiden winner for Baffert going six furlongs here on Dec. 26, Faustin, who also earned an 89 Beyer Speed Figure, will again be ridden by Ramon Vazquez.  Off as the 4-5 favorite in his debut, Faustin would appear to have a huge chance as he tries to muscle his way on to the Derby Trail.

Purchased for $800,000 out of the same Ocala, FLA 2-year-old in training sale that produced Havnameltdown, Faustin is by Curlin and is owned by Michael Lund Petersen.

Off at even money in his debut, Baffert’s Fort Warren ran to the betting, as he won in virtual gate to wire fashion by a half length under Hernandez while earning an 88 Beyer.  With Hernandez committed to Havnameltdown, John Velazquez takes over on the $550,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase.

By Curlin, Fort Warren is owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, LLC.

Baffert’s fourth entrant is Gilmore, who broke his maiden by four lengths going a flat mile at Los Alamitos on Dec. 10.  Off at 1-5 with Hernandez up, he rallied powerfully off the turn for home while earning an 81 Beyer.

A $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling, Gilmore is also owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, LLC and will be ridden for the first time by Mike Smith in what will be his third start.

In a seemingly impossible role that would redefine upset should he win, trainer Ryan Hanson’s Man Child will take on team Baffert in what will be his sixth career start.  Most recently second, beaten a head as the 6-5 favorite in an ungraded 6 ½ furlong stakes at Turf Paradise Dec. 21, Man Child was a well beaten third behind Havnameltdown in his second start, the Grade III Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 14.

A $45,000 Keeneland September Yearling by Creative Cause, Man Child’s lone win came in his debut, a five furlong maiden sprint at Los Alamitos July 3—a race he won on the lead by a half length.

Owned by California Racing Partners, Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Michelle (Yu) Hanson, Richard Pearson, Timothy Husted and Robert Dronk, Man Child, who has an overall mark of 5-1-1-2, will be ridden back by Diego Herrera.

THE GRADE II SAN VICENTE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER

Race 2 of 9  Approximate post time 1 p.m. PT

  1. Havnameltdown—Juan Hernandez—124
  2. Faustin—Ramon Vazquez–120
  3. Fort Warren—John Velazquez—120
  4. Man Child—Diego Herrera—120
  5. Gilmore—Mike Smith–120

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m.  Admission gates open at  10:30 a.m.

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