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Baffert takes top four spots in the American Pharoah S. (G1)
Saturday, October 8, 2022

Cave Rock topped an historic 1-2-3-4 finish for Bob Baffert in Saturday’s $300,000 American Pharoah S. (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

The 1 1/16-mile race is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series, therefore guaranteeing Cave Rock a starting spot in next month’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland.

Cave Rock, a son of the Baffert-trained Arrogate, was quick from the gate and took the lead narrowly ahead of National Treasure around the first turn. He was up by 1 ½-lengths after a half-mile in :46.82 and widened that margin to three lengths after six furlongs. In the stretch, it was all Cave Rock, who cruised under the wire a 5 ¼-length winner, with National Treasure second, Hejazi in third, and Gandolfini completing the superfecta.

“I can’t remember running one, two, three, four, ever,” Baffert said. “The really good ones come around quicky and he’s always been different, he’s built a bit different than Arrogate. He’s powerful, stronger and he’s quick. He runs with his head sort of low like Arrogate. He just keeps improving, he trains easily.”

Cave Rock has been dominant in all three of his starts, winning by a combined 16 ½-lengths. After taking his maiden debut Aug. 13 at Del Mar, he was an easy winner of the Del Mar Futurity (G1). His earnings stand at $408,000 for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.

Baffert now has a record 11 wins in the American Pharoah, which was previously known as both the FrontRunner S. and Norfolk S. prior to being renamed for the 2015 Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner who Baffert trained.

Baffert 2013