Mor Spirit tops San Felipe workers
Edited Santa Anita press release by Ed Golden
With the Man Upstairs set to unleash a deluge around 8 o’clock tonight, the Men Downstairs flooded the track with horses getting in their final major licks before next Saturday, when Santa Anita presents one of its biggest days of the Winter Meet, featuring the $1 million Santa Anita H. (G1), the San Felipe S. (G2) for three-year-olds with Triple Crown aspirations, and the San Carlos S. (G2) for some of the nation’s crack sprinters.
Four leading three-year-olds worked for the San Felipe, headed by Mor Spirit, who went six furlongs in company with Dream Team in 1:12.20 under Martin Garcia. Dream Team was timed in 1:12.60.
“I liked the way he went,” Bob Baffert said of Mor Spirit. “He went really well. His company was trying to stay with him, but he did well.
“Martin did a great job keeping him focused. We beat the rain, we’re all set.
“Now we’ve just got to wait.”
The following contenders also worked Saturday for the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe, a major steppingstone to the $1 million Santa Anita Derby (G1) at 1 1/8 miles on April 9:
Danzing Candy, five furlongs in 1:01 under Mike Smith: “It was good,” trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said. “He’s happy.”
Exaggerator, five furlongs under Kent Desormeaux in 1:00.40: “That’s the same time I got,” trainer Keith Desormeaux said, giving a nod of thanks to Santa Anita’s team of clockers, adding, “I don’t know how those guys can clock 50 horses at the same time. It’s a special skill.
“It was a nice work. He finished in 22 and four. That’s not bad. He was under control, limber, and wasn’t stressed out afterwards, all things you want to see in a horse getting ready for a race, so we’re happy.”
Smokey Image, four furlongs in company with Fourth Watch, :48.60, with Victor Espinoza in the irons for Carla Gaines: “Unbelievable,” Espinoza said. “He’s ready to go.”
Uncle Lino, five furlongs in :59.60 with regular rider Fernando Perez aboard: “I put some horses in front of him,” said trainer Gary Sherlock. “He’s ready.”
File photo of Mor Spirit courtesy of Benoit.