With his connections itching to get him on the dirt, Power Broker proved them
correct in the Grade 1, $250,000
FrontRunner at Santa Anita on Saturday. The two-year-old colt broke his
maiden in his first start over the dirt in impressive fashion, kicking away by 6
1/2 lengths. In so doing, he earned 10 points in the first U.S. race on the new
"Road to the Kentucky Derby" scoring system, along with an automatic berth in
the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
The Bob Baffert trainee pressed the pace three wide as Know More, the 9-5 favorite, and another Baffert trainee, Carving, battled back and forth setting fractions of :23, :47 2/5 and 1:12 2/5. Once Power Broker took over the lead in the upper stretch, the race was over as the son of Pulpit drew clear under left-hand urging from rider Rafael Bejarano. He was able to go the 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:44 2/5.
"This horse has turned out really good. I'm surprised with the way he ran today, he was amazing," Baffert said. "It was the first time he ran on this track at this distance and it looked like he loved this track. It's important to be on the lead right now, and it was easy to find early position right away."
Owned by Gary and Mary West, Power Broker returned $12.60, $6.20 and $4 to his backers. The graded stakes win boosts his lifetime earnings to $182,600 and his career line now reads 4-1-1-1.
Know More finished second, a half-length ahead of Capo Bastone. Farther back came Carving, and Den's Legacy, The Whole Deal, Gabriel Charles, Dry Summer, Dirty Swag, Imperative and Wild Student rounded out the order of finish.
Power Broker finished fourth in his debut over the Polytrack at Del Mar. He followed up that performance with a third-place finish in his turf debut and was beaten by a neck in the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf last time out on September 5.
"I was really high on this horse before we went to Del Mar. I thought he was a top horse," Baffert said. "He let me down when he ran down there, and I was a little disappointed. Then he came back and he didn't work that well. Then he worked really well the other day. I was thinking of putting him on the grass. After that last race, I switched him up. It worked out."
The Kentucky-bred was produced by the Wild Again mare Shop Again, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Miss Shop and Grade 2 winner Trappe Shot. His family also includes Grade 1 winner Mining and multiple Grade 2 winner Lay Down.