03/31/2013 6:09PM

Santa Anita: Liaison returns from long layoff to take Santana Mile

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Benoit & Associates
Liaison, racing for the first time since last summer's Travers, scores by a half-length with Martin Garcia aboard in the Santana Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Liaison, who was sixth in the Kentucky Derby last year, won his first start since August in Sunday’s $71,500 Santana Mile at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Liaison ($9) closed from third in a field of five and held off a sustained threat from 6-5 favorite Midnight Transfer to win by a half-length. Liaison ran a mile on the main track in 1:36.36.

“He showed some fight,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “This is a good start. I think he’ll be a good handicap horse.”

Midnight Transfer finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Tres Borrachos, who was followed by Hoorayforhollywood and Gladding in the field of five.

Prior to Sunday’s race, Liaison had not started since finishing ninth in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga last August. A 4-year-old colt by Indian Charlie, Liaison won two stakes as a 2-year-old at Betfair Hollywood Park – the Real Quiet Stakes and Grade 1 Cashcall Futurity.

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Liaison has won 4 of 13 starts and $631,794.

Baffert said that Liaison displayed stiffness after the loss in the Travers, leading to the layoff.

 

JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Awesome! It's nice to see Liaison doing well again. Congratulations, Liaison, on a very fine performance in this race. You were flying, buddy. Congratulations to his connections, as well. I know it makes you happy to see Liaison flourishing again in races.
Vinod Jhangimal More than 1 year ago
I wasn't a fan of his connections last season; specifically in the way they were forcing him into the triple crown races when it was obvious that he (as well as Optimizer) was way in over his head. That being said, I am glad that Mr. Baffert showed patience with him, prepared him for a 4yo campaign, instead of rushing him to the breeding shed, and may be rewarded for it. Always wish the horses the very best and may all of them come back home safely. Good luck to Liaison and all of his connections.
Steve More than 1 year ago
he finished 6th in the derby. hardly shameful. being 3rd in the Jim dandy was a fair enough reason to go to the travers. of course hindsight is always 20/20
Vinod Jhangimal More than 1 year ago
Dear Mr. Steve, I was critical of them running him in the TC races before they ran him and my posts on the subject will back up what I stated. You could see that his form had tailed off considerably and he was running because he had previously achieved the earnings mark so as to qualify; not because he had any real chance or it was in the best interest of the horse to run. As I said, I am glad that Mr. Baffert decided to rest him and bring him along more judiciously for his 4 year old campaign and I, for one, hope he gets rewarded for it.
Mick More than 1 year ago
So happy to see him back in the winner's circle! Always been a fan of his. Made my heart smile seeing him win today. Looking forward to seeing him go from here into a great 4yo season.