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CAN THE MAN IMPRESSIVE 1 ¾ LENGTH WINNER OF $100,000 SPEAKEASY STAKES FOR 2-YEAR-OLDS AS BAFFERT WINS HIS THIRD RACE IN-A-ROW
COMEBACKING SECRET CIRCLE RUNS FASTEST SIX FURLONGS OF MEET IN PREVIOUS RACE, BAFFERT INDICATES EDDINGTON COLT COULD WHEEL BACK IN $1.5 MILLION BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT NOV. 2
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 14, 2013)—Heavily favored Can the Man was an impressive winner of Monday’s $100,000, six furlong Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita, winning by 1 ¾ lengths under Martin Garcia and providing trainer Bob Baffert with his third win in-a-row on the program—which included a blistering comeback performance from multiple graded stakes winner Secret Circle, who could resurface in the $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint Nov 2.
Although Baffert took blinkers off the 2-year-old colt by Into Mischief, Can the Man showed plenty of early zip as he pressed eventual runner-up Hi Fashioned through fractions of 21.69, 44.50 and 56.76, while getting the distance in 1:09.53.
“They took the blinkers off today, which I think helped,” said Garcia. “He took the lead today and was just waiting, waiting, and waiting and was just playing with them. He felt that horse on the inside coming (Hi Fashioned, with Agapito Delgadillo) and once they got close he took off again. He was just playing out there today.”
A first-out maiden special weight winner at Del Mar on Aug. 17, Can the Man was then third in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 4, and was most recently fourth in the Grade I, mile and a sixteenth FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28.
Dispatched as the 4-5 favorite in a field of five, Can the Man paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20.
“He was disappointing in the two-turn race (Grade I FrontRunner), so I thought this was the time to take the blinkers off and he drew perfectly (in post five) on the outside…Right now, I think one turn is his race…I’ve got to be careful. There’s a lot of pressure with this horse because he’s named for my son, Canyon.”
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., Can the Man picked up $60,000 for the win, boosting his earnings to $156,000. He now has two wins and a second from four starts.
Hi Fashioned who drew the rail and was off at 5-1, maintained a half length advantage past the half mile pole and battled gamely, finishing 6 ¼ lengths in front of third place finisher Alpine Luck and Gary Stevens.
Hi Fashioned paid $4.40 and $2.60.
Alpine Luck was third-best at 8-1 and finished 2 ¼ lengths in front of Brother Soldier and Edwin Maldonado. Alpine Luck paid $3.00 to show.
Carded as race four, the Speakeasy was preceded by race three, a tough three-other-than conditioned allowance at six furlongs, which was won by Baffert’s Secret Circle in 1:07.98, the fastest six furlongs of the current Autumn Meet.
A winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, as well as the Grade III Southwest Stakes on Feb. 20, 2012 and the Grade II Rebel Stakes Baffert indicated that Secret Circle may be pointed to the Grade I, $1.5 million Xpressbet Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.
“It’s tempting, we’re right here at home,” he said. “We’ll see how he acts the next couple of days and we’ll make a decision.”
Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Thursday, with first post time at 1 p.m.