01/12/2012 4:11PM

Santa Anita: Baffert has long night, better morning

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Benoit & Associates
Liaison, Rafael Bejarano up, wins the CashCall Futurity.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Bob Baffert was in a terrific mood on Thursday morning, wearing the smile of a proud trainer, and a relieved father.

On Monday night, Baffert’s son, Bode, 7, was complaining of pain in his abdomen. By Tuesday afternoon, Bode was undergoing surgery to have his appendix removed, and he seemed to come out of it better than his father.

“He pulled up good. That kid doesn’t complain. It’s got to be the Tennessee side of him,” Baffert said, referring to his wife, Jill, who is from Tennessee. “They kill bears with their bare hands. He doesn’t get that from my side of the family.

“We took him to the emergency room at midnight, and he didn’t see a doctor until 3:30 in the morning. They did the surgery around 4. Right before he went in, he said, ‘This is the worst day of my life.’ ”

Bode was back home as of Wednesday, and already was up and about. As for Baffert, he had a good morning Thursday, watching several of his top 3-year-olds turn in outstanding workouts.

First up was Liaison, the CashCall Futurity winner, who went five furlongs in 59.20 seconds under jockey Martin Garcia while in company with Castaway.

“Does he like this track?” Baffert asked Garcia after the work.

“He does,” Garcia said.

Liaison is scheduled to make his next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 4.

A few minutes later, the promising 3-year-old filly Princess Arabella effortlessly breezed a half-mile in 48 seconds. She was a winner of her debut against maidens two weeks ago, and could make her next start in the Grade 3, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes on Jan. 28.

Hollendorfer pair work

Two Jerry Hollendorfer-trained 3-year-olds who could face off against Baffert’s runners in those races also worked Thursday morning.

Killer Graces, the Hollywood Starlet winner, went six furlongs in 1:12.80, the best time of 12 at the distance. She is expected to make her next start in the Santa Ysabel, which is also expected to attract Starlet runner-up Charm the Maker from Ron McAnally’s barn.

Rousing Sermon, second in the CashCall Futurity for Hollendorfer, worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 for his next scheduled start, the Lewis.