02/17/2013 7:34PM

Santa Anita: Shakin It Up passes first test by taking San Vicente

Benoit & Associates
After winning the seven-furlong San Vicente under jockey David Flores, Shakin It Up will likely be asked to try two turns in his next start.

ARCADIA, Calif. – In his first start since November and likely his last one before being asked to stretch out around two turns, Shakin It Up proved best in a thrilling stretch drive to capture the Grade 2, $150,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds on Sunday at Santa Anita.

Shakin It Up ($6.40) rated behind the early pace of Belvin and Caballo Del Cielo, then knifed between horses during a furious stretch drive that at one point saw all six runners abreast. He proved best by one length over Treasury Bill, with Caballo Del Cielo another three-quarters of a length back in third.

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

War Academy was fourth and was followed, in order, by Mudflats and Belvin, but less than three lengths separated first from last. That often is indicative of a slow race, but the raw time, considering the way the track was playing Sunday, looked solid – 1:22.48 for seven furlongs on the fast main track.

The San Vicente offered no points toward the Kentucky Derby based on the new eligibility system put in place this year by Churchill Downs.

Shakin It Up had won just one of his first three starts, but it’s interesting to note that the only horses he ever finished behind were stablemates from the barn of his trainer, Bob  Baffert. In his only previous stakes effort, he was third to Really Mr Greeley and Super Ninety Nine in the Hollywood Prevue at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 22, his last start.

Martin Garcia rode Shakin It Up in the Prevue, but David Flores – aboard Shakin It Up for his first two starts, including a win against maidens here on Oct. 27 – was back aboard for the San Vicente.

“He does well with him,” Baffert said. “I was mad at myself for taking him off for the Prevue.”

Baffert said he didn’t have Shakin It Up “super cranked up” for the Prevue, and said he believed Shakin It Up would do well when sent two turns next time.

“Oh yeah,” Baffert said. “The bottom side is there.”

Indeed, it is. Shakin It Up, a son of Midnight Lute, is out of the Vindication mare Silver Bullet Moon, whose dam, in turn, was two-time champion Silverbulletday.

Shakin It Up was bred by Mike Pegram, and is owned by Pegram in partnership with Dennis Cardoza, a former United States congressman from California.

Baffert said he did not know where Shakin It Up would run next. As is his custom, owing to having so many good 3-year-olds, he nominates all of them to everything across the country, then decides who to run each week – whether at home or on the road -- based on who’s doing best.