Updated on 09/15/2011 12:40PM

Officer cops Graduation


DEL MAR, Calif. - Officer did not need his top effort to win Wednesday's $125,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old California-breds at Del Mar.

Making his stakes debut, Officer took the lead after a furlong and pulled away easily under Victor Espinoza to win by eight lengths over Crown the King. Trained by Bob Baffert for the Thoroughbred Corp., Officer ($2.20) finished 5 1-2 furlongs in 1:04.32 after setting fractions of 22.47 and 46.08. Crown the Kind was second throughout, and finished 3 1-2 lengths in front of Bid N Ask, who closed from last in the field of six to be third.

According to Baffert, Officer's victory will lead to a start in the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1-2 furlongs on Aug. 15, the meeting's first open stakes for 2-year-old males.

"I told Victor, 'If he's running well, don't let him do too much because I want to run him him back in the Best Pal,'" Baffert said. "It was an easy race for him. He should have run in 1:03 and change.

"He's got a great mind and can do whatever you want. I don't know how far he'll run, but he's pretty awesome."

Officer is unbeaten in two starts, having won a maiden race for California-breds on July 6. By Bertrando, Officer was such a heavy favorite that $399,315 of the $425,332 bet to show as placed on him. He returned $2.10, creating a minus show pool of $68,274.

Go to Del Mar coverage.