Nadal Serves Up A Victory In San Vicente, Will Target Derby Prep

George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman and Mark Mathiesen’s Nadal scored a hard-fought victory over Ginobili in Sunday’s Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes, delivering on his 1-5 post time odds with a front-running win. The 3-year-old son of Blame, ridden by Joel Rosario for trainer Bob Baffert, ran seven furlongs over Santa Anita’s fast main track in 1:22.59.

The San Vicente does not offer Kentucky Derby points, but co-owner George Bolton indicated that Nadal’s next start will put him on the Triple Crown trail, likely in Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes.

“Today, I told Joel, ‘Don’t get cute, just go,’” said Baffert, who registered his record 10th win in the iconic prep to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby.  “’We can rate him some other day.’  They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat.  I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work…I thought he was gonna get beat.  He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now.  This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel.”

Juvenile Champion Storm the Court, off as the second choice at 3-1, finished fourth in his 2020 debut.

The field broke fairly evenly, and the outside horse Ginobili was the first to push for the early lead. Nadal went right with him on the inside, and after Ginobili sped through a quarter in :21.81 Nadal took over by a half-length. Storm the Court settled back in fourth, about three lengths off the leaders.

Nadal never relinquished the lead after that, battling Ginobili through fractions of :44.09 and 1:09.05. Ginobili drew nearly even with Nadal at the head of the lane, but Nadal battled back on the inside to win by three-quarters of a length. Ginobili had to settle for second, while Fast Enough rallied past Storm the Court to finish third.

“He broke sharp and he handled the pressure from the outside,” said Rosario. “I was never worried about it. My horse was moving very well and I was confident because I could feel I had a lot of horse under me. He was very impressive. He ran very fast today and he runs like he’ll like two turns, but you never know until they do it.” 

Bred in Kentucky by Sierra Farm, Nadal is out of the Pulpit mare Ascending Angel. A $65,000 yearling purchase at the Keeneland September sale, Nadal brought $700,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-old sale. The colt broke his maiden by 3 3/4 lengths on Jan. 19 at Santa Anita, and the San Vicente was his second career start.

“I actually found out about Nadal through Kerri Radcliffe who bought the colt for us at the Fasig Tipton March sale a year ago,” said Bolton. “I think she bought a great horse for us and we hope Nadal is as proud of us as we are extremely proud of him today.

“It is a huge step up and when you go to the Paddock and you’re one to nine, you are thinking of all the downside in the world. There were some nice looking horses in the Paddock, the six (Ginobili) looked fast and was fast. He really had to go the whole way and never got a breather. Going further (in distance) should be fun for Nadal.

 “This horse looks like it could be a special horse. You just want him to be happy and hold together. He will be on the road now. He’ll be on different surfaces and he’s going to go a different distance yet again, so he will go maybe go to the Rebel. I’m proud we got that chance. I’m extremely happy about everything that has happened here.”

The post Nadal Serves Up A Victory In San Vicente, Will Target Derby Prep appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.