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A 'shocking' Swaps Stakes victory for Bob Baffert

Misremembered, a 3-year-old bred and co-owned by the Hall of Fame trainer, upsets favored Grazen at Hollywood Park.

July 19, 2009|Eric Sondheimer

Bob Baffert, the usually unflappable trainer set to be inducted into racing's Hall of Fame on Aug. 14, said he was in "shock" Saturday after a 3-year-old horse he bred and co-owns, Misremembered, won the Grade II $300,000 Swaps Stakes by one length over odds-on favorite Grazen at Hollywood Park.

"You don't know how much money I've wasted," Baffert said, referring to his breeding experiences.

Baffert and co-owner George Jacobs paid $4,500 four years ago for a 17-year-old mare, Beyond Perfect, winner of the 1990 Del Mar Debutante. They bred her to the Kentucky-based stallion Candy Ride, and that produced Misremembered, named by Jacobs after a word used by pitcher Roger Clemens during baseball's steroids controversy.

Misremembered finished second to Grazen in the Affirmed Handicap on June 20, but this time jockey Victor Espinoza made a strategic decision and sent his horse to the front from the outset, and Grazen could never catch up in the 1 1/8 -mile race. Scorewithcater finished third.

"I wanted to get out of there fast," Espinoza said. "He's a free-running horse, and I wanted to take it to the other horse early."

Misremembered won for the third time in five career starts and helped Baffert lessen the disappointment from earlier this month when his top 3-year-old, Pioneerof The Nile, the second-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, had to be retired because of injury.

"I've been depressed since Pioneerof The Nile got hurt, so this takes the sting out of it," Baffert said.

Rosario clinches title

Jockey Joel Rosario clinched his first riding title in Southern California by guiding Evita Argentina from last to first during a two-length victory over Silver Swallow in the Grade II $150,000 A Gleam Handicap at seven furlongs.

Evita Argentina, a 3-year-old daughter of Candy Ride, gave trainer John Sadler his seventh stakes victory of the Hollywood Park meeting.

"I knew they were going very fast so I wasn't worried about being so far back," Rosario said. "That's how she likes to run. She was moving so fast I just wanted to make sure she was in the clear."

Rosario, 23, has 79 wins with one day left in the Hollywood Park meeting.

Close finish in

Virginia Derby

Battle of Hastings, trained by Jeff Mullins and ridden by Tyler Baze, rallied for victory by a head over Straight Story in the Grade II $750,000 Virginia Derby at 1 1/4 miles on the turf at Colonial Downs.

Missing horses

In another sign of trouble for California racing, the Oceanside Stakes, on Wednesday's opening-day card at Del Mar, will be run as a single race for the first time since 1988. Two years ago, there were so many 3-year-olds that the race was run as three divisions.

Return of

California Flag

One of the top turf sprinters on the West Coast, California Flag, is gearing up to make his 2009 debut in the Aug. 19 Green Flash Handicap at five furlongs on the Del Mar turf, trainer Brian Koriner said.

"Everything is going good with him," Koriner said of the 5-year-old gelding who was given a break after winning the Hollywood Turf Express Handicap on Nov. 29.


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