Speed Boat Beach Overcomes Hop At The Break And Takes $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes
HEAVILY FAVORED SPEED BOAT BEACH OVERCOMES HOP AT THE BREAK AND TAKES $100,000 SPEAKEASY STAKES BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS IN HIS FIRST GRASS TRY
RACE IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE QUALIFIER TO BC JUVENILE TURF SPRINT AT KEENELAND
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2022)—A lights-out first time maiden winner on dirt, heavily favored Speed Boat Beach tried grass today at Santa Anita and proved best, overcoming an awkward start to win by 1 ¼ lengths under Juan Hernandez. Trained by Bob Baffert, Speed Boat Beach got five furlongs on turf in 55.25.
The Speakeasy, a Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” Challenge Race qualifier, thus provides Speed Boat Beach with a fees-paid berth into the Grade I, $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Keeneland Nov. 4.
Hopping slightly at the break from his outside post position, Speed Boat Beach was quickly into stride, tracking longshot Helladic and Tyler Baze around the turn before taking shaking loose a sixteenth of a mile out.
A 2-year-old colt by Baffert’s 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern out of the Pioneerof the Nile mare Sophia Mia, Speed Boat Beach was the prohibitive 2-5 favorite in a field of nine and paid $2.80, $2.40 and $2.20.
It was a quick roundtrip to the Runhappy Winner’s Circle for Baffert and owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, as their Midnight Memories took the previous race, the Grade II Zenyatta.
With the Speakeasy winner’s share of $60,000, Speed Boat Beach ran his earnings from two starts to $108,000.
In a game effort, Helladic, trained by Ryan Hanson, was second best, finishing a half length in front of Ah Jeez. Off at 9-1, Helladic paid $5.80 and $3.80.
Ah Jeez, ridden by Abel Cedillo, paid $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.06 and 43.36.