01/30/2013 5:39PM

Santa Anita: Den's Legacy part of field of four for Robert B. Lewis Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Den’s Legacy will be part of a field of four in Saturday’s Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Last fall, Den’s Legacy was the top 2-year-old turf prospect in trainer Bob Baffert’s stable.

The colt’s performances in the last six weeks have shown he may be much more than that.

After a third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity on the synthetic main track at Betfair Hollywood Park in December and a second in the Sham Stakes on dirt Jan. 5, Den’s Legacy has been entered for Saturday’s $200,000 Robert Lewis Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on the main track for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita.

A win would leave Den’s Legacy firmly among Baffert’s Triple Crown hopefuls.

The Lewis drew only four entrants, including He’s Had Enough, who was second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile here in November; and the Baffert-trained Flashback, an impressive maiden race winner at Hollywood Park in December. Little Jerry, eighth in the CashCall Futurity after a slow start, also is entered.

[ROBERT B. LEWIS: Get Santa Anita PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Den’s Legacy was beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Violence in the CashCall Futurity and finished 1 1/2 lengths behind the heavily favored Goldencents in the five-runner Sham. The loss in the Sham left Baffert encouraged that Den’s Legacy can be effective on any surface.

“I thought he ran an amazing race,” Baffert said. “He just got outrun.”

Owned by Westrock Stables, Den’s Legacy has won 2 of 9 starts and $281,350. After finishing fifth in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes on the main track here in September, Den’s Legacy was second in two turf stakes at Santa Anita – the Zuma Beach Stakes in October and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview on Nov. 3. He won the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24.

The Lewis could be Den’s Legacy’s last start in California for the next few months. Baffert considers Den’s Legacy to be a candidate for the $600,000 Rebel Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park on March 16.

“I want to run him here one more time and then we’ll probably ship him out of town,” Baffert said. “This will set him up.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]