03/09/2007 12:00AM

Baldwin Stakes preview


Saturday, March 10, 2007
Race 2 - Santa Anita
About 6 1/2 Furlongs (Downhill Turf)
Baldwin Stakes (Grade 3)
Purse $100,000.

DESERT CODE took to the grass like a duck to water when breaking through his preliminary allowance condition, and the 92 Beyer Speed Figure he earned that day is better than anything that his rivals have ever run. There is plenty of speed in this heat, but Desert Code doesn't seem like a need-the-lead type, and jockey Richard Migliore may attempt to tackle these from just off the pace.
NEWSWORTHY makes the important third start of the form cycle with improving Beyer Speed Figures on display, but he was no match for the top pick last time out. He's plenty quick from the gate, but a prolonged pace battle may doom his win chances. SPANISH INFLUENCE may be the speed of the speed, and he returns to his preferred surface after dueling hard in the Grade 2 San Vicente on dirt. Trainer Marcelo Polanco is 0 for his last 29, and 2 for his last 70 going dirt to turf, however. BITTER BILL's only off the board finish came over cushion track, and he is the lone four-time winner of this group. He should appreciate turning back in distance for high-percentage trainer Jeff Mullins, and may try to rate here. VAUNT missed the break in the San Vicente, and is another that should appreciate getting back on the lawn. He is capable of improving in his second start of the year.

1. Desert Code
2. Newsworthy
3. Spanish Influence