09/29/2012 8:16PM

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

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.

Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
It's BB and O'Neill with the 1st-2nd already. Congrats to all on this race and please take care of these babies for the 3yo season! Maybe we'll Know More after the BC?!?
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
Power Broker ran a fine race. Congratulations to Power Broker and his connections on the win. Most importantly, he took a step toward getting points in the 201 Kentucky Derby qualifiers, not an issue lost on Power Broker's connections, I'm sure. - LOL. As far as Know More, this is a colt I still very high regard for. He trained on polytrack at Hollywood Park, which is the base for the O'Neill barn. Know More has only run a few races, and in those races he has won a graded stakes race on polytrack, came in second on polytrack, and now, his first time on a dirt track he comes in a powerful second. In a Grade 1 race, at that. Nothing to sneeze at, that's for sure. He has taken his first step toward being included in the field of the 2013 Kentucky Derby, just as Power Broker did, because this race counts in the points standing toward inclusion in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. I see bright things ahead for Know More. He is a fine colt and I'm sure his connections are proud of him. Both Know More and Power Broker have fine futures ahead of them, and I look forward to seeing some fabulous racing from them, maybe even head-to-head racing from them in the future. This group of fillies and colts coming out Southern California this year are an excellent group, just as the 2012 group of Southern Californian colts and fillies were a superior group, and I anticipate seeing a lot fabulous racing coming from this group on their way to the 2013 Oaks and Triple Crown races. We've been lucky to see all of these wonderfully talented horses strut their stuff. It's been a lot fun to watch.
HandicapperErni More than 1 year ago
I didn't think either of the Baffert runners in the FrontRunner would win but had them as one of my picks. I thought one of the Mullins horses would step up or Know More or even Capo Bastone. Certainly look out for Power Broker in the Breeders Cup.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
So how did the Baffert horses cool out?
Tom Smith More than 1 year ago
how could the track be more speed favoring than it was last spring? It is the worst track ever, I will not be betting a nickle on the BC
Alyssa F. More than 1 year ago
Doug O’Neill's assistant Leandro Mora had this to say about Know More finishing 2nd in the FrontRunner: “We are very, very pleased. First time in dirt. He ran a very good second. He has not stepped foot on dirt. We’ve been training on synthetic, so the plans are to train here on dirt and be ready for the Breeders’ Cup.” (On why he is running on dirt now after training on synthetic) ”We always wanted to win a race. We’ve been training at Hollywood Park, which is synthetic. He has run two synthetic races and never run on dirt before, so finishing second on dirt in a Group 1 race is very, very good. This is a great test. I was hoping to finish (either) 1-2-3 on dirt. We’ll stay here for the entire month before Breeders’ Cup."
miss_lys36 More than 1 year ago
Alyssa F., you have to remember that the track is not as good as it usually is with the new dirt that has been put down. many trainers have desrcibed it as being deep and cuppy, and the times for many of the races have been pretty slow. I am sure the track will improve as the meet goes on. And, Know more is not a horse to give up on. He has shown promise in all three of his races. We will see how he does in the juvenile (all of the juvies will have to run with lasix). There is still quite a bit of time for Know More to progress.
miss_lys36 More than 1 year ago
*I mean without lasix
akhiym james More than 1 year ago
Gomez did the right thing horses are not closing from off the pace. This track is a very speed favoring track since they installed dirt again so Gomez did what he had to do so his horse could have a chance to win. Don't get so down on this horse yet he's only raced three times broke his maiden in a graded stake and has run ok races after he still can be a good horse.
Alyssa F. More than 1 year ago
With Know More, I think it might be time for a jockey change. I don't get why Gomez had to put Know More right at the front, whe Gomez said himself that he was going to put Know More off the pace. Oh well. Power Broker was the better horse in this race.