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Sunday, October 14, 2018
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Once On Whiskey up in time in Los Al Derby (G3)
Sunday, July 15, 2018

Once On Whiskey needed every bit of the long Los Alamitos stretch to catch Draft Pick, but did just that in the final strides to win the $150,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3) by a head.

In the five-year history of the Los Alamitos Derby, which was previously run as the Swaps S. at Hollywood Park, Baffert has won three times. His first two victories came in 2015 with Gimme Da Lute and in 2017 with West Coast.

Once On Whiskey was the less-heralded of the two Baffert Derby entrants, with Ax Man going off as the odds-on favorite. It was Ax Man who set all the pace, with plenty of pressure from King Cause and Draft Pick.

At the top of the stretch, Ax Man began to falter, and Draft Pick looked like a winner with a furlong to run. Once On Whiskey and Flavien Prat made one final lunge and got to the wire a nose in front.

Once On Whiskey covered the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:48.93 on a fast track.

"When we turned for home, I asked him to run, and he responded pretty well," Prat said. "I didn't know if we could catch the leader, but I thought he could make a nice run. He just kept on going."

“We've been wanting to stretch him out, and I was going to stretch him out at Del Mar—so for him to run like that, I've got to give a lot of credit to Prat. I just told him to be patient with him,” said Baffert. 

Once On Whiskey is owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman and now has $140,300 in earnings.


Baffert 2013