Lord Nelson rallies for Triple Bend victory

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Jen Caldwell

June 26th, 2016

Spendthrift Farm’s Lord Nelson came with a nice late run to nip Subtle Indian in Saturday’s $301,035 Triple Bend Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

With Rafael Bejarano aboard, the Bob Baffert-trained four-year-old stalked between rivals as Subtle Indian set the early pace of :22.58, :45.51 and 1:09.18. Lord Nelson continued running between foes entering the lane and down the stretch before finally separating himself late to just nip Subtle Indian by a half-length on the wire.

Sent off the 2-1 second choice, Lord Nelson paid $6.20 after stopping the clock in 1:21.04 for seven furlongs over the fast main track. Suble Indian easily held second by 1 3/4 lengths over 9-5 favorite Kobe’s Back, who rallied for third after going five wide around the turn.

It was another half-length back to Home Run Kitten, who just kept his neck in front of 40-1 longshot Clever Royal to finish out the top four. Ambitious Brew was nosed out of fifth by that latter rival and followed under the wire by Cautious Giant and Coastline.

Lord Nelson earned his third stakes win in this spot, having previously taken the San Vicente Stakes (G2) as a sophomore and the 2014 Speakeasy Stakes as a two-year-old. The chestnut son of Pulpit also placed in both the Malibu Stakes (G1) and Bay Shore Stakes (G3) last season, and improved his record to read 11-5-1-1, $598,217 with Saturday’s score.

Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms, Lord Nelson was purchased for $340,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. He is the first registered foal out of the Seeking the Gold mare African Jade and counts as his second dam Grade/Group 1 winner and Argentinean Mare of the Year Miss Linda.

This female family also boasts Grade/Group 1 heroine Miss Match and Grade 1 victress Carina Mia.

Lord Nelson photo courtesy of Benoit Photos


Rafael Bejarano, jockey Lord Nelson, winner: “I was really happy with my trip. I knew Subtle Indian was the only speed in the race so I wanted to make sure I broke good and got my horse into the race right away. I found my position and then just waited for Kobe’s Back. When I saw him coming at the three-eighths I just went for it and tried to get the jump on him because he was really running.”

Bob Baffert, trainer Lord Nelson, winner: “That was pretty game. I didn’t think he was going to get there. He was trying so hard there at the end. It was pretty exciting to watch, more exciting to win. He’s come back so strong this year; that break really helped him. I think this is his distance, sprinting might be too short for him.”

B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm, owner Lord Nelson, winner: “He’s a big, good looking horse and we were looking for a stallion. He’s exceptionally good looking. We’ll keep him running, that’s for sure.”

Mike Smith, jockey Subtle Indian, second: “I tried to nurse him along without taking anything away from him that was coming easy for him. He was able to relax, I was really happy with the way he did. You have to give it to Lord Nelson. He ran a great race.”

Gary Stevens, jockey Kobe’s Back, third: “I was on the extreme outside. I was wide around the turn and the pace was extremely slow for these kinds of horses. The track has been favoring speed all day long and my move was a bit premature and a bit wide.”