In a thrilling finish, Gimme Da Lute came out on top by a nose over Prospect Park in Saturday’s $350,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G2) to give Bob Baffert his sixth win in the race, which was formerly known as the Swaps S. when run at Hollywood Park, since the year 2000.
Prior to the race, all eyes were on the flashy colt Kentuckian, and early on that one had the lead with Gimme Da Lute in hot pursuit. After six furlongs in 1:10.13, Kentuckian had a half lead on the eventual winner, who was cutting into the lead with every stride.
Gimme Da Lute took over at the top of the stretch, then dug deep to earn the win over a hard-charging Prospect Park
"After he won the Affirmed (G3, June 7 at Santa Anita), I could tell that he was craving more distance," said Baffert. "He’s getting better and better and Martin (Garcia) rode him flawlessly today. I’m glad to be back here at Los Alamitos where it all started (as a Quarter Horse trainer) and winning this race means a lot to me. This horse had been working really well, so we were confident, but we just didn’t know what (Kentuckian) was going to do because you never know how they’re going to react when you stretch them out.’’
Gimme Da Lute has now collected four wins, three of them in stakes, in his seven starts. Owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman, the homebred 3-year-old colt is by Pegram’s two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Midnight Lute and is the first foal out of Casino Gold. With the $210,000 payday, Gimme Da Lute upped his lifetime take to $457,560.