03/28/2015 6:49PM

Sky Kingdom captures Tokyo City Cup for second time

Benoit & Associates
Sky Kingdom, under Martin Garcia, cruises by 5 3/4 lengths in the Tokyo City Cup at 1 1/2 miles.

ARCADIA, Calif. - One race was worth $2 million, the other $100,250.

Secret Circle got Saturday off to a swell start for trainer Bob Baffert with a win in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen sprint in Dubai in the morning, California time. A few minutes after 4 p.m. Pacific, Sky Kingdom, another of the stable’s veterans, won the Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup for the second time in his career at Santa Anita.

In between the two stakes wins, Baffert watched Dortmund, his main hope for the Santa Anita Derby on April 4, work a quick six furlongs.

In the Tokyo City, Sky Kingdom was the 5-2 second choice and won in the manner of a favorite. Ridden by Martin Garcia, Sky Kingdom was second for the first seven furlongs, took the lead in the turn, and was not threatened through the stretch, winning by 5 3/4 lengths.

Sky Kingdom ($7.60) ran 1 1/2 miles on dirt in 2:28.90.

“He likes the distance,” Baffert said.

Bailoutbobby, a 12-1 shot, closed from last of six to finish second, 4 1/2 lengths in front of Bronzo, the 3-5 favorite. Bronzo, who was fifth behind Shared Belief in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 7, was third throughout and could not keep pace when Sky Kingdom pulled away on the turn.

Decisive Edge finished fourth, followed by Arlington House and Helm.

The Tokyo City Cup was the first start for Sky Kingdom since a fourth in the Grade 2 Las Vegas Marathon Stakes at 1 3/4 miles here on Oct. 31. The loss was preceded by a seventh-place finish behind Shared Belief in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes last September.

In hindsight, Baffert said he wishes there had been more time between those races.

“Last time, I think I ran him back too soon, and he went backwards,” Baffert said.

Sky Kingdom, 6, has won 6 of 19 starts and earned $472,122. Owned by Westrock Stables, Sky Kingdom won the 2013 Tokyo City Cup. Last July, Sky Kingdom won the minor American Flag Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Los Alamitos.

Baffert said that Sky Kingdom will remain in longer races this year.

“We’ll have fun with him,” he said.