Monday, May 20, 2024

Dettori Rides Newgate to Victory in Santa Anita Handicap

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Jockey Frankie Dettori and Newgate staged a stretch-long rally and caught Subsanador in the final yards for a thrilling victory in the $400,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on Sunday.

The 87th edition of the 1 ¼-mile Big ‘Cap gave trainer Bob Baffert his sixth victory in the iconic race won by some of racing’s greatest horses led by Triple Crown champion Affirmed, Spectacular Bid and John Henry (twice).

It was also the first Big ‘Cap win for Dettori, considered among the world’s top jockeys now based in the United States. As usual, he came through with his patented flying dismount after the race.

Dettori wins first Big ‘Cap aboard Newgate for Bob Baffert

Baffert had a huge day at Santa Anita Park – his 3-year-olds Imagination (with Dettori aboard) and Wine Me Up ran 1-2 in the $300,000 San Felipe (G2) and he also came up with a rare win on turf in the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe (G1) in the two races prior to the Big ‘Cap.

“When I was a kid here in the late 80s, there were 60,000 people here to see Ferdinand and Alysheba and you just couldn’t move,’’ Dettori said. “I was in awe. I rode in the Big ‘Cap the first time last year and it was a dream.  And to win it, I couldn’t ask for anything more. It is a big feather in my cap.”

Added Baffert: “It’s always been a storied race, and to win, and the way he won it, it was so exciting,’’ Baffert said. “It is such a historical race and just to win it, for our team and with Frankie Dettori, it really makes it that much more special.”

Newgate Triumphs in Head-to-Head Battle

Subsanador, sent off at 22-1, broke from post six in the field of seven and sprinted to the lead under Hector Berrios. The Argentina bred 5-yer-old and multiple Grade 1 winner in South America held a slim lead over Mixto early, Newgrange later, but could not hold off Newgate ($8.40 for a $2 win bet), who won by a head.

Newgate, a son of Into Mischief, avenged his runner-up finish to Newgrange in the San Pasqual (G2) on Jan. 27, which was his second start since being off for nearly a year after winning the 2023 Robert B. Lewis (G3).

Reincarnate, also trained by Baffert, was third, followed by Highland Falls, Mixto, Newgrange, and Salesman.

Winning time was 2:03.49 over a fast track.



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