Havnameltdown powers home under Juan Hernandez, topping a Bob Baffert trifecta (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Santa Anita Press Release
ARCADIA, Calif.— Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s Havnameltdown notched his second consecutive graded stakes win as he powered off the turn for home en route to an impressive 1 ½ length score in Sunday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente at Santa Anita. Ridden by Juan Hernandez and trained by Bob Baffert, Havnameltdown got seven furlongs in 1:22.29.
Breaking sharply from his rail post, Havnameltdown, in his third consecutive try at seven panels, assumed control out of the chute and dictated the pace with longshot Man Child at his hip to the three furlong pole. From there, he opened up a three length advantage turning for home over stablemate Faustin and won under a hand ride from Hernandez, who chalked up his meet-leading eighth added money victory.
“I felt out of the gate, with the first jump, he broke really fast and strong and then after that, I felt like I was just cruising,” said Hernandez. “…He was kind of waiting for horses, I was doing the same thing. I was waiting for him and waiting for the competition to get close to me so I could start making my horse run.
“At the three eighths, I felt the pressure a little bit and I asked him and he responded really well. Turning for home, he switched leads and he picked it up by himself.”
A handy winner of the Grade III Bob Hope Stakes with Hernandez up Nov. 20 at Del Mar, Havnameltdown was the actual even money favorite in a field of four sophomores and paid $4.00 and $2.10 with no show wagering.
“A lot of horses that get the rail hate drawing it,” said Baffert, who chalked up his record 12th win in the San Vicente. “This horse is built for this distance, that’s him, one turn. He will stay one turn.”
A $200,000 Ocala, Florida, 2-year-old in training sale purchase this past April, Havnameltdown, a Florida-bred colt by Uncaptured out of the Put it Back mare Ashely’s Babe, notched his third graded stakes win as he took the Grade III Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar three starts back on Aug. 14.
With four wins and a second from five starts, Havnameltdown picked up $120,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $408,000.
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, Faustin, who kept to his task through the lane, finished 8 ¾ lengths in front of stablemate Fort Warren, giving Baffert the San Vicente trifecta.
The second choice at even money, Faustin paid $2.40 to place.
Fractions on the race were 22.46, 45.46 and 1:09.67.