After Dominating San Felipe, Mastery Immediately Pulled Up By Smith

Cheyenne Stable's Mastery was the dominating winner of Saturday's G2 San Felipe Stakes on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, but worries immediately surrounded the 3-year-old son of Candy Ride as Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith pulled the colt up sharply on the gallop out. It was not immediately clear what went amiss with the Bob Baffert trainee, but he was unsaddled and loaded into the horse ambulance for a ride back toward the stable area. He did enter the ambulance under his own power. Mastery had recorded a final time of 1:42.28 for 1 1/16 miles over Santa Anita's fast main track, winning by open lengths, and will be credited with 50 points toward the first Saturday in May.

According to the Daily Racing Form on Twitter, Smith thought Mastery felt off in his left hind leg shortly after crossing the wire, but the colt walked fine a moment later. He added that Mastery was vanned off as a precaution. Assistant Jimmy Barnes reported that the colt walked off the vane “fine” at the barn, but Baffert indicated that he would be going through “a lot of tests” in a full soundness work-up.

Undefeated in three prior starts, Mastery broke sharply for Smith and had the advantage of an inside position around the first turn as he dueled with Gormley and Iliad for the lead. With no encouragement required from Smith, Mastery kept on determinedly and carved out a one-length lead headed into the backstretch, working through the first quarter in 23.50 seconds. Gormley stayed just off the rail in second, while Iliad was forced to remain three wide while about 2 1/2 lengths off the lead.

After a half-mile in :46.79, Mastery began to feel the pressure from Gormley, and around the far turn both Gormley and Iliad steadily worked their way into a three-wide group turning for home. Mastery just held the lead over the trio, and Gormley was the first to fold. Iliad kept on valiantly, but was clearly second-best as Mastery drove away easily. Wrapped up late, Smith galloped Mastery under the wire open lengths in front of Iliad. Term of Art closed from very far back to beat Gormley for third.

Mastery was bred in Kentucky by Stone Farm, and commanded $425,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale. He reeled off three wins in a row to begin his career, including the G3 Bob Hope and culminating in the G1 CashCall Futurity at Los Alamitos. The San Felipe was Mastery's 2017 debut, and his record remains perfect in four starts to earn over $510,000.

The post After Dominating San Felipe, Mastery Immediately Pulled Up By Smith appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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