Baffert Looking For Spielberg To Supply Him A Ninth Victory In Robert B. Lewis Stakes

Should Bob Baffert win Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., he could “retire the cup,” as the expression goes.

It would mark the third straight victory in the steppingstone to the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3 for the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer.

Baffert won the Lewis last year with Thousand Words and in 2019 with Mucho Gusto. Overall, he has won it a record eight times, dating back to 1999 with General Challenge.

Subsequent winners were Domestic Dispute (2003), Pioneerof the Nile (2009), Flashback (2013), Dortmund (2015), Mor Spirit (2016) and the aforementioned Mucho Gusto and Thousand Words.

First run in 1935 as the Santa Catalina Handicap, this will mark the 83rd edition of the race, no matter its name or distance.

Baffert has two Triple Crown prospects nominated to the Lewis, but is likely to run only Spielberg, opting to wait and see how issues such as weather play out with Medina Spirit.

“Spielberg is definite, but Medina Spirit could run; I’m not certain,” Baffert said. “We’re going to have a lot of rain next week so I’m not sure.” Both horses worked five furlongs Friday in the identical time of 1:01.20.

Spielberg won the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity at a mile and one-sixteenth by a desperate nose over Doug O’Neill’s 33-1 longshot The Great One last Dec. 19 and has displayed an advantageous stalking style. The Great One came back to win on Saturday, Jan. 23, by 14 lengths.

“He’s been immature but he’s improving mentally,” Baffert said of the $1-million son of Union Rags owned by a partnership of SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, et al.

The Robert B. Lewis is named in honor of the late owner whose Silver Charm (co-owned with wife, Beverly) provided Bob Baffert with his first Kentucky Derby win in 1998.  The Lewis’s would also go on to win the 1999 Derby with the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Charismatic.

The post Baffert Looking For Spielberg To Supply Him A Ninth Victory In Robert B. Lewis Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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