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Defunded tops Baffert exacta in the Native Diver S. (G3)
Monday, November 28, 2022

Defunded was followed under the wire by Azul Coast in Sunday’s $150,000 Native Diver S. (G3) to give the Bob Baffert barn a 1-2 finish in the 1 1/8-mile contest for older horses at Del Mar.

Defunded, who came into the race off a win in the Oct. 1 Awesome Again S. (G1), was heavily favored on Sunday and ran to expectations. He was away out of the gate slowly, but made his way up into second in the first quarter-mile. The 4-year-old battled with longshot Go Joe Won for the next half-mile, then put him away at the top of the stretch. All alone in the lane, Defunded won by 4 ¾-lengths, with Azul Coast coming from last to take second.

“He came away from there a little bit slow, but I wasn't concerned. This horse doesn't need to be in front,” said winning rider Edwin Maldonado. “He's won from off the pace before. I rode him with confidence all the way.”

The top 2 finishers are both owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. Defunded’s record now stands at 5-3-1 in 13 starts, with earnings of $608,100.

Baffert 2013