10/13/2013 5:51PM

Santa Anita: Bajan gets first stakes win in Anoakia

Benoit & Associates
Bajan and jockey Victor Espinoza win the Anoakia Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths Sunday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Bajan won the first stakes of her career in Sunday’s $75,020 Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita, a result that gave trainer Simon Callaghan a reason to expect more from the filly in the coming months.

“This surface is her thing,” he said. “She really lets herself go.”

Bajan will have plenty of opportunities to show her affinity for the Santa Anita dirt track. Santa Anita will host a six-month meeting from Dec. 26 to late June, a season that will be loaded with stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

In the Anoakia Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, Bajan ($8.40) had an ideal trip to win the six-furlong race. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Bajan closed from fourth in a field of five to win by 2 1/4 lengths. She was timed in 1:10.64.

Espinoza guided Bajan to the outside of pacesetters Cadron and Smoove It before taking the lead in early stretch. Bajan led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining.

“We thought there would be speed,” Callaghan said. “He sat a nice trip behind. It worked perfectly. It went the way we hoped.”

E Equalsmcsquared closed from last to finish second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Smoove It. Spring Moon, the 7-10 favorite, never was a factor and finished fourth, beaten nine lengths. Cadron, who set an early pace of 21.72 and 45 seconds, faded to finish last.

Bajan, a Speightstown filly, races for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Ron and Jerry Frankel. She has won 2 of 4 starts and earned $99,150.

Purchased for $80,000 at the Ocala Breeders Sales Co.’s sale of 2-year-olds in training in March, Bajan won a maiden race at Del Mar on Aug. 10 in her second start and was a troubled sixth in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 31.

Callaghan said Bajan may start around two turns later this year, but he has yet to form a plan with the partners.

“I think she can run longer,” he said.

sewhall More than 1 year ago
I'm from the island of Barbados and we are called Bajans, if you are going to name this horse Bajan say it correctly please, the guy calling the race made a mess of the name,Patrick Husbands is a Bajan, top jockey at Woodbine, ask him,Rico Walcott is a Bajan, top jockey at Northland Park,ask him or Chantel Sutherland Kruse how to say Bajan since she has worked with many of us Bajans in Canada and rode in Barbados also, please don't say it's not the same name cause Speightown is the dad of this horse our 2nd biggest town on the island so the connection is there.
Mike B More than 1 year ago
Not this race, but generally Thurs-Sunday at SA --a bit too much drifting out by leaders in the stretch (under left hand urging) with horses coming on strong from outside. This forces jockeys with more horse left to go way wide. A few times--Bejarano 1st Thurs, e.g., it looked like drastic lug out with veteran horse and rider-- with deliberate not incidental contact. Sure their names on Stewards board for a short meeting. But not changing the placement or giving days is rewarding the behavior. Hard to see why 3rd place in first race Thurs should not have been 2nd. Bejarano should get something for failure to control mount/maintain straight course there. If you don't have any horse left, stay in your lane. If you can't keep them relatively straight in the stretch, go back to the drawing board and let others up who can.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I've seen it it three times in the last week of racing dates. Is it possible something is distracting the horses in the middle of the track? Two I witnessed were well clear and made a right turn in deep stretch. I know horses drift when tired and overreact from urging when tired as well, but the three I witnessed seem to be odd at best.