A Z Warrior

Hoosier Park: Top pair in Oaks need return to form

ANDERSON, Ind. – A Z Warrior was a Grade 1 winner last fall but didn’t progress sufficiently for Bob Baffert to make the Kentucky Oaks, which Baffert won anyway with Plum Pretty.

Daisy Devine earned a spot in the Oaks with a terrific winter campaign in Louisiana, but little has gone right for her since. She was seventh in the Oaks, then ran even worse when she was drubbed as an odds-on favorite in her only subsequent start.

Saratoga: Victory Ride comes up tough

Trainers cautious on Santa Anita main track after project to add sand

Tom Keyser
A Z Warrior, winner of the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes at Belmont Park in October, worked a half-mile in 47.60 seconds on Wednesday at Santa Anita.

There were only 52 recorded works on the main track Wednesday, a day after track maintenance crews completed a multi-day project to add sand to the surface.

Many trainers said they were taking a cautious approach to training Wednesday but planned more extensive works later this week. By comparison, there were 134 recorded works on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Several trainers said the surface had responded well to the additional sand.

“I’ve asked a few of my riders, and they said it felt fine,” trainer Jack Carava said.

A Z Warrior iffy for Hollywood Starlet

A Z Warrior, a 2-year-old filly whom Baffert trains for Zayat, returned to racetrack training earlier this week following a last-place finish in the BC Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 5.

Baffert said that A Z Warrior emerged from her 12th-place finish in the Juvenile Fillies with a bruised foot, which he said was only a temporary setback.

“I just started her back a few days ago,” he said. “I’ll know in a week if I’ll run her in the Starlet.”

A Z Warrior, Soundwave stretching out around two turns

Bill Denver/Equiphotos
Soundwave, winning the fillies division of the NATC Futurity at Monmouth, will attempt two turns for the first time in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Leave it to a couple of former Quarter Horse guys to have the speed of the Grade 1, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

A Z Warrior, trained by Bob Baffert, and Soundwave, trained by Ronny Werner, were among the 13 horses pre-entered in the 1 1/16-mile race on Monday. And both figure to be prominent when the Churchill Downs starter springs the latch for the Juvenile Fillies on Nov. 5.

A Z Warrior strong on dirt in Frizette

Barbara D. Livingston
A Z Warrior scores a 1 3/4-length victory in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont Park.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Just because the Breeders’ Cup is going to be held on a dirt surface this year doesn’t mean the California-based horses used to running exclusively on synthetic surfaces are going to be at a disadvantage.

Wickedly Perfect captures the Sorrento

Benoit Photo
Rafael Bejarano wins his fourth race of the day, aboard Wickedly Perfect in the Sorrento.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Wickedly Perfect gave jockey Rafael Bejarano his fourth win on Friday with a game performance in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar.

Bejarano won the third through fifth races, did not ride the sixth, and returned to win the Grade 3 Sorrento. Sent off as the fourth choice, Wickedly Perfect ($13.80) was always near the front, stalking pacesetters Dawnie Macho and Final Mesa through a quick pace of 21.89 and 44.90 seconds.

Start with Baffert to find Del Mar Futurity winner

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
As always, trainer Bob Baffert has a solid bench of 2-year-olds for Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – For all of Bob Baffert’s accomplishments, and there have been many, nothing quite defines his essence as a trainer more than his remarkable record with 2-year-olds at Del Mar, where he has won the Del Mar Futurity nine times in the past 14 years, including the past two years with subsequent Eclipse Award winners Lookin At Lucky and Midshipman.

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