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ON ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF BIG ’CAP VICTORY, COMEBACKING MISREMEMBERED WINS SANTANA MILE—LOOKING AS IF HE COULD’VE BEEN DANGEROUS IN 2011 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 6, 2011) – One year to the day of his victory in the 2010 Santa Anita Handicap, Misremembered appeared to pick up where he had left off with a dazzling victory in Sunday’s $75,000 Santana Mile at Santa Anita.
The purse may have been one-tenth of what he had earned in the Big ’Cap, and the competition may have been less than superior, but little matter. It was the manner in which the 5-year-old ridgling scored his comeback win that suggested he had never left.
With Martin Garcia in the saddle for trainer Bob Baffert, the 11-10 favorite circled the leaders turning into the stretch and quickly took command with his ears pricked before being geared down at the wire.
He defeated multiple Grade II stakes winner Kensei by an easy three lengths while running the distance in near-track record time of 1:33.50. Ruhlmann, the winner of the 1990 Big ’Cap, set the one-mile mark of 1:33.40 in 1989.
“This horse has been training super, and I thought he’d run good,” Garcia said afterward, “but not THIS good. Baffert told me he’s training good, but that he’s had a lot of time off, and if it looked like he couldn’t win, to just take care of him.
“The way he ran today, I really think if he would have run yesterday (in the Santa Anita Handicap won by Baffert stablemate Game on Dude in a 14-1 upset), he would have won.”
Baffert did not directly address such speculation about Misremembered, but said, “He is so much better than he was last year. He’s filled out. I was sort of upset at myself for not having him ready for the Big ’Cap. The thing about him is that distance is not a problem for him. I feel really fortunate to have some nice handicap horses.”
Bred in Kentucky by Baffert, Misremembered is owned the Hall of Fame trainer’s wife, Jill, in partnership with family friend George Jacobs. A series of ailments kept him out of action following his Santa Anita Handicap win by one-half length with Garcia riding in the historic race for the first time.
Jill Baffert didn’t seem so sure that the chestnut son of Candy Ride was going to win Sunday when he was running a distant fourth down the backstretch in a field of seven. “Jill thought he was too far back, but I told her he was fine,” said the trainer.
Garcia took the long way around, going four wide rounding the far turn. At the command of a shake of the reins, his mount took control. Misremembered’s remaining obstacles were minor, as he jumped some tire tracks just past the sixteenth pole.
Kensei, with Garrett Gomez aboard, was little match, but held second by three-quarters of a length over Honour the Deputy, who was ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
Misremembered paid $4.20, $3.20 and $2.80. The runner-up returned $4.80 and $4 while the show price on Honour the Deputy was $4.20. The winning purse of $48,120 increased the career earnings of Misremembered to $1,136,709 from a 6-4-0 record in 12 career starts.
Baffert isn’t sure what might be next for Misremembered. “I’m just going to see how he comes out of this,” he said. “We were thinking about Dubai in the back of our minds, but we don’t know. There are so many options.
Following dark days on Monday through Wednesday, racing will resume at Santa Anita on Thursday with an eight-race program that begins at 1 p.m.