05/20/2010 11:00PM

Hot partners can strike gold again in Barrera


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A week after their glamorous win in the Preakness Stakes with Lookin At Lucky, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia team together again Saturday at Hollywood Park with quite a bit less at stake.

Garcia will ride Concord Point in the $100,000 Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds over seven furlongs. For Concord Point, the Grade 3 Barrera is his stakes debut. A win would be the latest success for the Baffert-Garcia partnership. They also won the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this year, as well as two stakes at Lone Star Park in recent weeks.

Concord Point, owned by Kaleem Shah, will start in the Barrera following a win in an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita on April 14. The win was a turnaround from a disappointing fourth in a similar race in February, which essentially ended any chances of a start in a Triple Crown prep race.

The Barrera will be Concord Point's longest race. In his debut last December, he won a maiden race over 6 1/2 furlongs by 1 1/4 lengths, quickly becoming a 3-year-old to follow on Baffert's team. Saturday's Barrera could lead to a start in longer stakes at this meeting, such as the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on June 19.

"There is nowhere else to run," Baffert said of the Barrera. "It's a step up but he looks like he's doing well. He hasn't run that many times."

Concord Point has been working at Santa Anita, including six furlongs in 1:14.80 on May 10. Baffert also starts Macias, who was sixth in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes on turf at Keeneland last month. Macias, the winner of two minor turf stakes at Santa Anita over the winter, is the only stakes winner in the Barrera field.

Concord Point could face an early challenge from Smiling Tiger, third in the Harry Henson Stakes over six furlongs on turf here on April 21.

Trained by Jeff Bonde, Smiling Tiger was third to Lookin At Lucky in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes and Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity last summer.

Bonde said he thought Smiling Tiger had an unlucky trip in the Henson.

"He had to steady two or three times," Bonde said. "I expect him to run a big race. We're thinking good things right now."