Bob Baffert had another of his deep stable of 3-year-olds enter the Triple Crown picture on Sunday when Shakin It Up won the $150,000 San Vicente S. (G2) by a length, giving his trainer a record eighth victory, and third straight, in the seven furlong sprint at Santa Anita.
Baffert's first San Vicente winner, Silver Charm in 1997, would go on to win that year's Kentucky Derby (G1).
Shakin It Up was fifth in the early going before moving up to third, while Belvin set the early pace. Shakin It Up went between horses in the stretch and took the lead near the sixteenth pole before gaining some separation. Ridden by David Flores, Shakin It Up ran 7 furlongs in 1:22.48.
"He was sort of fresh today," Baffert said. "I didn't really have him super-cranked up for the race, but we've always thought highly of him, so we'll just find something for him. I don't know."
Flores was thrilled to be back on Shakin It Up knowing that he has a possible Kentucky Derby horse.
"It reminds me of the good ol' days. It brings me back to a time when I was riding these kind of horses," Flores said.
Shakin It Up scores a gritty win in the G2 San Vicente
"He put me in the race right away, so I just had to be patient and wait for the pocket to open," the jockey added. "When I asked him to go, he accelerated, a tremendous acceleration."
Shakin It Up is owned by Mike Pegram and Dennis Cardoza and was sired by Midnight Lute, Pegram's two-time winner of the Breeders' Cup Sprint. After Sunday's win, Shakin It Up is now 2-1-1 in four starts and has earned $139,600.
The San Vicente was not part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" race series that awards points to the top four finishers of designated races and determines the 20-horse field for the May 4 Derby.
"This should have had at least 10 points on it," Baffert said. "This was a tough race."