San Felipe Reality: Baffert Wins Again — with Imagination

And the 3-year-olds just keep on winning for Bob Baffert, no matter which ones he sends out.

The Hall of Fame trainer won the $300,000 San Felipe (G2) for the ninth time when 9-10 favorite Imagination outdueled stablemate Wine Me Up by a head in a photo finish at Santa Anita on Sunday.

Bob Baffert

Nysos, considered the best 3-year-old in the country, was scratched by Baffert on Friday, and the unbeaten colt would have been the overwhelming favorite,

Imagination won’t go to the Derby despite his impressive San Felipe Win

No matter. Baffert ran 1-2 in the San Felipe, a Kentucky Derby (G1) points qualifier. However, his horses are ineligible to earn points due to his suspension by Churchill Downs, home of the Run for the Roses.

So, the 50 and 25 points that would have gone to the first two finishers, respectively, disappear, with third-place runner Mc Vay picking up 15 points and fourth-place Scatify getting 10 points.

The four-horse field matches the shortest in the San Felipe since 1995, when Afternoon Deelites won over Timber Country, Lake George, and Score Quick.

Winning time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:44.55. Imagination, ridden by Frankie Dettori, returned $3.80 for a $2 win bet.

Baffert’s Imagination Prevails Amidst Race Day Drama

The race unfolded with bit of chaos as Wine Me Up, from post 2, moved to the early lead after Scatify bobbled at the start, then moved back to the rail and bothered Wine Me Up before shifting out and bumping Imagination.

The two Baffert horses took turns in the lead after that until Imagination held on in the final quarter mile for his second win in five starts, with three runner-up finishes.

“The one horse (Scatify) came in on Imagination, it scared him, and he took off with him. After the horse bumped him, it took him way off the rail and slowed him down,” Baffert said. “Last time he was in front, he got beat. At least today he showed some fight.

“I think he is a slow developer because of the way he’s bred. He’s not a sprinter, so I wasn’t going to bring him back that quick. He could’ve used an extra week, but you have to run these horses when you can.”

A son of Into Mischief, Imagination was purchased for $1,050,000 by the SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables Stonestreet Stables, Diane Bashor, Robert Masterson, Waves Edge Capital, Catherine Donovan, and Tom Ryan.


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