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Undefeated Speed Boat Beach tops in the Speakeasy S.
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Bob Baffert won Santa Anita Park’s $100,000 Speakeasy S. for a record seventh time on Sunday with Speed Boat Beach, who is now headed to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup in early November.

The Speakeasy is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series, and guaranteed Speed Boat Beach a paid entry for the Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1).

After posting a gaudy 104 Beyer Speed Figure for his maiden debut win on Sept. 10, Baffert decided to give the 2-year-old colt a try on the turf. After hopping at the start, Speed Boat Beach quickly recovered and was second after a quarter-mile. Still second after a lightning-quick half in :43.36, Speed Boat Beach challenged Helladic for the lead coming into the stretch.

The duo battled briefly before Speed Boat Beach began to edge clear, winning by 1 ¼-lengths in :55.25, less than a second off the course record, on the firm turf.

“We filled one of the spots on the plane to Keeneland,” said Baffert. “I wasn’t sure if he would like the turf or not. I told (jockey) Juan (Hernandez) that if he doesn’t like the turf, raise your right hand. He hopped at the start of the race. He was a little green and he kept switching leads. At the three-eighths pole, he became serious and took off. This horse has pretty serious speed.”

Speed Boat Beach is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. He has earned $108,000 in his two victories.

Baffert 2013