Updated on 09/15/2011 2:37PM

Siphonic impressive in Hollywood Futurity


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The line of demarcation was drawn in Saturday's Grade 1, $456,750 *, as Siphonic romped to a victory that stamped him as the best 2002 Kentucky Derby prospect in the United States, and favored Officer struggled home third in a performance that took him out of the Derby picture.

Siphonic drew off powerfully under Jerry Bailey to win by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:42.09 for 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track. Fonz's, a 12-1 shot, outdueled Officer by a half-length for second. Afterwards, Bob Baffert, the trainer of Officer, said his colt would be freshened and would be kept around one turn next spring.

"He just hangs the last part," Baffert said. "It's that distance limitation."

Siphonic, by contrast, showed that longer distances should pose no problem. He rated comfortably for Bailey, moved at the rider's command to hold his position at several points in the race, then powered clear of his seven rivals once turning into the stretch.

"It was very encouraging," said Bailey, who also teamed with trainer David Hofmans to win the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap with Starrer earlier on the Hollywood Park card. "Now if he develops and matures a little bit, which they all need to do to do good things as a 3-year-old, we're in business."

Labamta Babe went for the early lead while three paths wide into the first turn, with Yougottawanna in closest attendance. Siphonic was right behind those leaders, with Fonz's fanned wide, and Officer drafting behind that group in mid-pack. Labamta Babe set fractions of 23.20 seconds, :46.59, and 1:10.73 for the first six furlongs. Fonz's was the only horse able to keep pace with Siphonic on the turn, but once they straightened out in the stretch, Siphonic drew off.

Siphonic has now won three times in four starts, including the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October. His lone loss came when he finished third, after racing on a dull rail, in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Siphonic, a son of Siphon out of the Cherokee Colony mare Cherokee Crossing, is owned by John Amerman's Amerman Racing Stables, which purchased the colt at auction as a yearling for $210,000 in consultation with bloodstock agent Bob Feld.

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