09/29/2012 8:16PM

Santa Anita: Power Broker wins FrontRunner, gives Baffert sweep of juvenile stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Power Broker, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, collects his first career stakes victory in the FrontRunner.

ARCADIA, Calif. - When trainer Bob Baffert arrived at Del Mar this summer, Power Broker was at or near the top of his list of 2-year-old colts. Then he ran. Not once, not twice, but three times, Power Broker failed to win, yet Baffert kept the colt in high regard, and on Saturday at Santa Anita, Power Broker showed why.

Power Broker ($12.60) broke through in the best way possible, winning for the first time when rolling to a 6 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1, $250,000 FrontRunner Stakes for 2-year-olds. After three races on either synthetic or turf, this was his first try on dirt, and it made a difference.

Know More, the 9-5 favorite, finished second, with Capo Bastone, last of 11 early, a half-length back in third in a deceptively good effort over a track that has favored speed the first two days of the meet.

Power Broker completed 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:44.44.

The victory gave Power Broker a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 3 through the Win and You’re In program. Baffert said that would be his next race.

Rafael Bejarano rode Power Broker, giving he and Baffert a sweep of the day’s stakes for 2-year-olds. They won the Chandelier with the filly Executiveprivilege a half-hour earlier.

“I was really high on him before we went to Del Mar,” said Baffert, who even resorted to running Power Broker on turf when he didn’t excel on Polytrack.

“I went to turf because it was the new dirt at Del Mar,” he said.

Power Broker is among a small group of 2-year-olds Baffert was sent this year by owners Gary and Mary West, who primarily race in the East but have a home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., near Del Mar.

“Hopefully we’ll get them a Derby-type horse,” Baffert said. “They buy horses bred to go long.”

Power Broker is a son of Pulpit. He was purchased by the Wests as a yearling for $360,000.

The FrontRunner was the first domestic race for which points could be earned towards eligibility to the 2013 Kentucky Derby.