ARCADIA, CA – Is there anything more California than a horse named Heck Yeah winning a Cal-Bred Stakes for trainer Bob Baffert? That is exactly what we saw this Saturday when Heck Yeah dominated the rest of the field to win the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes at Santa Anita.
The race began with Psycho Dar and Rewired both breaking fast from the gate, however, Psycho Dar was eased to the middle of the pack while Rewired was given the lead. Heck Yeah, with jockey Mike Smith aboard, was happy to sit just off the early pace with Take the One O One close behind. Rewired quickly relegated himself to the middle of pack, giving Heck Yeah the lead, – and the rest of the race was history. Heck Yeah galloped to the wire with little to no urging from jockey Smith while Fire When Ready and Take the One O One battled down the stretch and finished in a photo for second and third respectively. Psycho Dar finished up in fourth.
Trainer Bob Baffert said of Heck Yeah after the race, “He came into this race really nice, he was relaxed, he was a gentleman today. He’s a race horse.”
This race was Heck Yeah’s fourth career race and third career victory. His only loss came his last time out in the Pasadena Stakes that was held on the Santa Anita turf.
Mike Smith seemed to think the move from turf to dirt was the right choice for Heck Yeah moving forward. After the race he said, “Equipment change and surface change – and they both worked extremely well… I like him better on the dirt, too.”
Heck Yeah returned $5.20 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.40 to show. Fire When Ready brought back $5.00 to place and $2.80 to show, while Take the One O One paid $2.20 to show.