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San Felipe Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Replay [Kentucky Derby]
Imagination (Lindsay Affleck)

San Felipe Stakes 2024 | Santa Anita Park Replay [Kentucky Derby]

The Bob Baffert-trained Imagination won the 2024 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park, a prep race for the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Watch the replay & get the Racing Dudes’ expert analysis, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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Watch the race replay here:

The press release:

Although his top 3-year-old didn’t run, Bob Baffert was still well in front of the competition as his Imagination, in a stirring stretch duel, outran stablemate Wine Me Up in Sunday’s Grade II, $300,000 DK Horse San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, prevailing by a head while getting a mile and one sixteenth in 1:44.55.

Ridden for the first time by Frankie Dettori, Imagination gave Baffert his record ninth win in the San Felipe, a traditional prep for the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 6.

The race was certainly not without drama, as Scatify, ridden by Hector Berrios, broke from the rail and was in very tight quarters in behind Wine Me Up in the run to the first turn, with Berrios on the brakes as he nearly the clipped heels of both Wine Me Up and Imagination to his outside.

Untroubled, Wine Me Up held a narrow advantage turning up the backside but was immediately engaged by Imagination and the two raced as a team from the three eighths pole to the wire, with neither giving an inch in a thriller.

Off as the 4-5 favorite in a field of four, Imagination, in his first stakes engagement, paid $3.80 and $2.40 with no show wagering.

A $1,050,000 Keeneland September Yearling owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, Stonestreet Stables, LLC, Dianne Bashor, et al, Imagination, a one mile maiden winner here two starts back on Jan. 1, was most recently a close second in a one mile allowance on Feb. 11.

With the winner’s share of $180,000, he increased his earnings to $256,800.

Wine Me Up, second to Nysos in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at one mile on Feb. 3, was off at 8-5 and paid $2.60 to place while finishing 6 ¾ lengths in front of Mc Vay.

Fractions on the race were 23.51, 47.04, 1:11.51 and 1:37.86.

Imagination gets his nose down over Wine Me Up in the San Felipe Stakes (Lindsay Affleck)


LANFRANCO DETTORI, IMAGINATION, WINNER: “He broke out and we went to the Club House turn, the guy behind me struck into me. My horse got frightened, and I took him back to get him wide to get him to relax and get him back into the race. He fought a great duel. He was full of heart.”

JUAN HERNANDEZ, WINE ME UP, SECOND: “My horse showed a lot of heart, I have no excuses today, we just got beat by a better horse. It is what it is, He beat me, but I’m really happy with my horse he showed a lot of heart, he was trying to come back. A couple more jumps and I would have gotten that horse, but he beat me today. I’m really happy with a second today.

“Frankie said down the backside his horse got a little rank, that’s why he got close to me, but I said, ‘No problem, we are riding for the same barn.”’