Authentic, Combatant snare Santa Anita victories

Horse Racing

ARCADIA, Calif. — Authentic led all the way to win the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths at Santa Anita on Saturday, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh win in the Grade 2 race.

Ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, Authentic ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.56 and earned 50 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby. That virtually assures the 3-year-old colt of a berth in the May 2 race.

Authentic paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.60 as the 6-5 favorite against six rivals.

Authentic is undefeated in three starts. The victory, worth $240,000, increased his career earnings to $331,200.

“He’s a special horse,” Baffert said. “This was probably one of the toughest prep races that we’ve seen so far. Those were really good horses in there.”

Honor A.P. returned $4 and $2.80 while earning 20 Kentucky Derby points. Storm the Court, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $2.80 to show. He earned 10 Derby points. Thousand Words, also trained by Baffert, finished fourth in his first loss and earned five Derby points.

In the $600,000 Santa Anita Handicap, Combatant won by a neck for trainer John Sadler, who won the Grade 1 race for a record third consecutive time.

“It’s just great,” Sadler said. “I can’t explain it, what it means to me. Three different horses and all really top horses.”

Earlier in the day, Sadler had scratched defending champion Gift Box because of concerns over a filling in an ankle.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Combatant ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.32. Rosario was originally set to ride Gift Box for owner Hronis Racing, which also owns Combatant. Like Sadler, Hronis Racing also won its third straight Big ‘Cap.

Rosario replaced Umberto Rispoli on Combatant, and Sadler said Rispoli would be paid a double-jockey mount of $36,000.

Combatant paid $21.20, $10.20 and $4 at 9-1 odds in the field of seven older horses.

The victory, worth $360,000, increased Combatant’s career earnings to $1,032,498.

Multiplier returned $28 and $6.40 at 33-1 odds. Favored Midcourt paid $2.20 to show.

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