ARCADIA, Calif. –Winning from the rail like a seasoned pro in his first start, Doppelganger retains the services of Flavien Prat as he heads a field of five sophomores going seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita. One of three Bob Baffert trainees, Doppelganger, a bay colt by Into Mischief, appears headed to the Kentucky Derby Trail in what will be the 80th running of the San Vicente.
Baffert’s Pinehurst, a winner of the Grade I Del Mar Futurity in his second start, will no doubt vie for favoritism with Doppelganger as he cuts back in distance following a fifth place finish in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Baffert will also send out McLaren Vale, who broke his maiden at first asking with John Velazquez and will be ridden by Abel Cedillo on Saturday.
Richard Mandella’s Forbidden Kingdom, second to highly regarded Messier in a Grade III stakes Nov. 14, has plenty of early speed and rates a big chance with Juan Hernandez back aboard.
A $570,000 purchase as a yearling, Doppelganger, who is out of the Quiet American mare Twice the Lady, was shuffled well back in his debut Dec. 11 at Los Alamitos, but was in-hand with Prat as he cruised into contention and responded with an impressive stretch kick when called upon to win off by 3 ½ lengths going six furlongs. Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, et al, Doppelganger earned an 80 Beyer Speed Figure and appears to have any kind of future.
A first-out maiden winner going five furlongs on Aug. 1 as the 8-5 favorite, Pinehurst was off at 4-1 in the Del Mar Futurity and won with consummate ease by 4 ½ lengths. With regular rider Mike Smith committed to ride eventual winner Corniche in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, John Velazquez took over and although Pinehurst was attentive to the pace, he tired through the lane to be beaten 8 ½ lengths at a mile and one sixteenth.
A $385,000 Keeneland September Yearling, Pinehurst, who is owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, et al, is easily the leading money earner in the field with $272,000 and will be reunited with Smith for what will be his fourth start.
An impressive first-out maiden winner going 5 ½ furlongs on Aug. 21 at Del Mar, Forbidden Kingdom, a $300,000 yearling purchase who is by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, transitioned to five furlongs on turf in the ungraded Speakeasy Stakes here on Oct. 1 and was third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths as the 9-5 favorite.
Subsequently second, beaten 3 ½ lengths on dirt going seven furlongs by Baffert’s Messier in the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes Nov. 14, Forbidden Kingdom will also be making his fourth start on Saturday. Owned by MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm, LLC, Forbidden Kingdom is out of the Five Star Day mare Just Louise.
THE GRADE II SAN VICENTE WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 4 of 9 Approximate post time 2 p.m. PT
- Forbidden Kingdom–Juan Hernandez–120
- Pinehurst–Mike Smith–124
- McLaren Vale–Abel Cedillo–120
- Doppelganger–Flavien Prat–120
- What in Blazes–Tyler Baze–120
The San Vicente, an important prep for the Grade I, $750,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, is one of three graded stakes on Saturday. First post time for a nine-race card is at 12:30 p.m., with admission gates opening at 10:30 p.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Doppleganger (Benoit Photo)