BAFFERT CONTINUES HIS ROLL WITH SALTY SARAH IN FEATURED GUADALAJARA PURSE

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 20, 2011) – Leading trainer Bob Baffert gained his 18th victory on the Santa Anita meet’s 17th day Thursday when his “other” entrant, Salty Sarah, captured the $70,020 Guadalajara Purse for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Sent off at odds of 4-1 while Baffert stablemate Crisis of Spirit was the heavily backed 6-5 favorite, Salty Sarah finished strongly in the field of six to secure her third victory in four starts since being claimed for $12,500 by the Live Your Dream Racing Stable of Bob Baedeker.

Handled by leading rider Rafael Bejarano, Salty Sarah outfinished 3-1 second choice Church Camp by three-quarters of a length in 1:08.56 for the distance. Crisis of Spirit, with Mike Smith aboard, had to settle for third after a troubled journey that saw her take up when blocked behind horses a furlong from the wire. She was unable to free herself in time and finished with a rush, ending up a head behind Church Camp.

“That happens,” Baffert said afterward. “She (Crisis of Spirit) had to check. I’m just glad the other one came running. I was looking for her in the stretch because I knew that the favorite couldn’t win, and there she was.”

Salty Sarah paid $10.20, $4.40 and $2.80. Church Camp, ridden by Corey Nakatani, returned $3.40 and $2.60. The show price on Crisis of Spirit was $2.40.

The winner was claimed out of a second-place finish on Sept. 3 during Oak Tree’s meeting at Hollywood Park. The California-bred daughter of Bertrando proceeded to win a $25,000 claimer by three lengths. After a fourth-place showing in an optional claimer, she ran back under the same conditions on turf at Hollywood Park and scored by 1 ¼ lengths.

Thursday’s victory, in her first start over a dirt surface, was worth $46,020 to the Baedeker group. It boosted Salty Sarah’s career earnings to $165,020 from a 4-3-4 lifetime record in 21 starts.

Racing continues on Friday at Santa Anita with an eight-race program. First post is at 1 p.m.

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