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Newgate won the 2023 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park, a prep race for the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1) that awarded 0 total points due to winning trainer Bob Baffert’s suspension. Despite that fact, is the Into Mischief colt now a major threat moving forward? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Bob Baffert couldn’t lose. The trainer of all four horses in Saturday’s Grade III, $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, the white-haired Hall of Famer watched favored Newgate gradually get the best of longshot Hard to Figure in winning by a neck under Frankie Dettori while getting a mile and one sixteenth in 1:43.11.
Under considerable restraint while last by about 2 ½ lengths heading to the far turn, Newgate ambled alongside leaders Arabian Lion and Hard to Figure leaving the quarter pole and under aggressive handling from Dettori, got the job done in getting his first graded stakes win.
“We had good pace in the race, we came back in good time,” said Dettori, who was aboard Newgate for the second consecutive time today. “Today, we moved sharper and we beat some good horses. He was a little slow with his lead changes, but he ran well.”
2023 Kentucky Oaks
Most recently second, beaten a neck in the Grade III Sham Stakes going a flat mile here on Jan. 8, Newgate was off at even money and paid $4.00 and $2.60 with no show wagering.
“Frankie Dettori has been teaching him how to just sit back, relax and come with a punch and that’s what he did today,” said Baffert. “…Newgate, before when we were sending him, he wasn’t finishing. I wasn’t sure how far he wanted to go…I was actually nervous before the race, worried that something weird might happen, but I can relax now.”
An $850,000 Keeneland September Yearling by Into Mischief out of the Majestic Warrior mare Majestic Presence, Newgate is owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, et al.
With today’s winner’s share of $120,000, Newgate increased his earnings to $241,975 and improved his overall mark to 6-2-2-0.
Hard to Figure, who broke sharply while adding blinders from his outside post, pressured Arabian Lion to the furlong marker and gave way grudgingly late in a big effort.
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez and off at 12-1, Hard to Figure paid $5.20 to place while finishing 1 ¾ lengths in front of Worcester.
For his part, Worcester, off as the third choice at 5-2 with Juan Hernandez, sat third to the quarter pole and finished 3 ¼ lengths better than Arabian Lion.
Fractions on the race were 23.87, 47.76, 1:11.98 and 1:36.65.
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LANFRANCO DETTORI, NEWGATE, WINNER: “We had a good pace in the race, we came back in good time. Today we moved sharper and we beat some good horses. He was a little slow with his lead changes, but he ran well.”
RAMON VAZQUEZ, HARD TO FIGURE, SECOND: “I had a good horse, and I tried very hard to get in a good position. The other horse was just more fit, I was close but they beat us in the last couple of yards.”
BOB BAFFERT, NEWGATE, WINNER: “Frankie Dettori has been teaching him how to just sit back, relax and come with a punch and that is what he did today. Arabian Lion looked like he was in a good spot, came up a little tired, we are not sure about distance limitations. Worcester was right there, and I think Hard To Figure ran an incredible race. I mean he was right there fighting hard like he was going to get it done but Newgate with the experience of having two turns got it done. I’m very proud of how they all ran.
“I think this is why we have these races these preps. You’re trying to figure out their styles. Newgate, before when we were sending him, he wasn’t finishing. I wasn’t sure how far he wanted to go…. It was Hard to Figure’s first time going long and he almost pulled it off. So much improvement in all these horses. Worcester is still a maiden, but we had to get a two turns into him, so he’s got a bright future ahead of him.
“I was actually nervous before the race, worried that something weird might happen, but I can relax now.”
NOTES: The winning owners are SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Robert E., Masterson, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Jay A Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital LLC and Catherine Donovan.
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