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Triumphant return in Los Alamitos Derby
Sunday, July 10, 2022

Bob Baffert won his sixth straight Los Alamitos Derby with High Connection on Saturday, marking his twelfth overall win in the race that was once called the Swaps S. when it was run at Hollywood Park.

The win, along with a maiden winner earlier on the card, marked Baffert’s first training victories in three months, which the trainer talked about while being interviewed on TVG.

“I’m glad to be back because I really missed it,” Baffert said. “While I was gone, Sean McCarthy, Jimmy Barnes, the whole team, they did a fantastic job. They kept it together. Here I am and I’m looking forward. I’m getting ready for Del Mar. This is where it all started for me, training quarter horses, so it’s always been a special place for me. I’m just glad to be back.”

High Connection and Slow Down Andy went for the lead from the start of the 1 1/8-mile Derby, and those two both sparred for top spot for the entire race, with each having the lead at different points. It wasn’t until the final furlong that High Connection took over for good, drawing clear to win by two lengths in 1:48.98 on a fast track.

High Connection broke his maiden by 10 lengths for Baffert at Santa Anita Park in late March, then most recently was second in the Affirmed S. (G3) while in Sean McCarthy’s barn. The chestnut 3-year-old is 2-2-0 in four starts and has earned $149,000 for HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud.

Baffert 2013