Cupid became racing's newest millionaire on Saturday when the 3-year-old colt scored a front-running victory in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (G2).
Trained by Bob Baffert for Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith, Cupid came out of the gate in a hurry under Rafael Bejarano. Despite breaking from the rail, Bejarano guided the gray colt well out into the course going into the first turn.
Cupid had a two-length lead after a quarter-mile, then got a challenge from Pinson on the backstretch, but Cupid shook him off and opened up once again. Despite being extremely wide into the stretch, Cupid increased his lead in the final furlong to win comfortably in 1:50.54.
"It was a quick turnaround (since his last start)," said Baffert assist Jimmy Barnes, who was on hand at Mountaineer. "But he was going well, so we decided to take advantage of another Derby. He's a good-feeling colt. He showed all the signs of being able to ship again."
Cupid, bred in Kentucky by JKG Thoroughbreds, is by Tapit out of the Beau Genius mare Pretty 'n Smart, and was a $900,000 purchase at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Cupid's $446,250 payday upped his earnings to $1,326,803, with a record of four wins and one second in eight starts. His wins include the Indiana Derby (G2) on July 16 and the Rebel S. (G2) in March.
Cupid is Baffert's third West Virginia Derby winner, joining Prayer for Relief (2011) and Concord Point (2010).