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West Coast scores again in Los Alamitos Derby (G3)
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Gary and Mary West’s 3-year-old colt West Coast racked up his third straight win on Saturday with a 2 ¾-length score in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby (G3).

The Bob Baffert trainee took the Easy Goer S. at Belmont Park on June 10, and an allowance race at Santa Anita in mid-May to start the streak. Saturday’s win upped West Coast’s record to 4-2-0 in six starts, with earnings of $323,800.

Breaking from post five in the seven-horse field, West Coast was under a fairly snug hold while he was five-wide around the first turn. Drayden Van Dyke kept his mount well off the fence down the backstretch. The half-mile went in a mild :47.89. 

As the 3-year-olds made their way into the final turn, West Coast seemed to lose some ground, with his chances looking fairly questionable. But once he straightened for the long stretch run, the son of Flatter kicked into gear and rolled to the front, and was wrapped up late as he hit the finish in 1:48.65 for the 1 1-1/8 miles in 1:48.65.

"I have so much confidence in Baffert's horses, just because of the superior trainer that he is, but I thought he might hit three more gears in the lane and that is what he did," Van Dyke said. "It was a hell of a feeling to feel a horse do that."

"That's what we're looking for. (For) a mile and a quarter, he needs a race like that. I think the (Grade 1) Travers (at Saratoga) will be a good spot for this horse," Baffert said. "He's growing into himself. We're developing him like we did with Arrogate—taking baby steps with him—and hopefully he'll be the next good horse."

Baffert 2013