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]

Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
I remember my dad holding my hand... and mass humanity around me... leaving the track after the last race...Attendance??? 80,000
Courthouseguy1999 More than 1 year ago
By and large, California's stakes are not what they once were. I remember when the San Fernando, Strub, Santa Maria, San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano, Mervyn LeRoy, Californian, Sunset, Ramona/John Mabee, Yellow Ribbon and Hollywood Turf Cup were considered premier G1 events. Even just this season, the Santa Monica was downgraded to G2. Never mind that these stakes' purses haven't kept pace with the times. I still rout for California horses on a local and national stage, but it's painful to see other racing jurisdictions' offerings compared to CA's - NY's Fall races have a bit lower purses than 5-10 years ago, but are still worth considerably more than their CA counterparts (i.e. Beldame vs. Zenyatta Stakes, Joe Hirsch Turf Classic vs. John Henry, Kelso Mile vs. Arroyo Seco Mile, Vosburgh vs. SA Sprint Championship, Champagne vs. Front Runner, etc.).
Jordan More than 1 year ago
There's not a grade 1 race for older males on turf beyond 9 furlongs in SoCal anymore. At one time or another, the following races for older males on turf were grade 1s: San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano, Century/John Henry, Hollywood Turf Handicap/Whittingham, Sunset, American Cap'(9 furlongs), Carleton Burke, Oak Tree Invitational/Hirsch/John Henry Turf Championship, Hollywood Turf Cup Total: 9 The Whittingham was the last of those, losing its grade 1 status for the 2013 running. I guess having an Eclipse champion win it the last 3 years wasn't enough.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
They will be down to match racing soon...Sad...
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
The chrb has done many things that hurt racing in California!!! A perfect example is giving pval a license ten times, what does that tell the bettors? It says we will even allow drugeee riders to ride here and look the other way if and when they take drug bribes. A rider who has been guilty of drug abuse is the perfect candidate for bribery. Racing has many pitfalls, but your regulators shouldn't allow more possibilities for crookedness. I can see a young rider falling to the temptation of drug abuse, but there should never be a third chance.
John Stevelberg More than 1 year ago
This is why the Derby point system needs to be tweaked. A Maiden Claimer could go and get 3% of the purse plus a derby point and by the same token the winner has really proved very little. Hope the Graded Stake folks will drop this sucker out.
jttf More than 1 year ago
today's 3 year old optional claimer allowance ($58,000) has 7 horses. but the robert lewis stakes' extra money and derby points did not move any of them. last year the lewis stakes had an 8 horse field. why did the racing secretary give the trainers an option to run in cheaper allowance race just 2 days away ?
John More than 1 year ago
It would also help to reduce racing days, to Fri Sat and Sundays, make it special again . The only people there during the week are 90 year old lifers who are just hanging out for some sort of excitment . Its like a morgue at Santa Anita Thursdays ! This past winter, we had a 10 day break before Santa Anita started , it put the pizzazz back into going to the track ! Listen up CHRB, take the spit wads out of your ears !
catinabox More than 1 year ago
The horse shortage is getting out of control. The number of graded stakes (maybe ALL stakes races) needs to be lowered, there are too many of them for the amount of horses we have. If they cut the number and raise the purses slightly, then we'd hopefully have more than 4-5 horse fields.
Bellwether4U More than 1 year ago
WOW!!!...4/5 Horse fields...what a broke Joke!!!...ty...
Mike Caiazzo More than 1 year ago
I don't watch as much college football anymore because of the BCS mess. Hopefully horse racing can figure this out because a 4 horse race isn't good for the sport.
P More than 1 year ago
So everybody is a winner just for showing up. Yet the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes - with a field of 10 runners - isn't a Derby points awarding race? Something is clearly wrong.