Too Much Bling made a three wide move on the turn and took command in the final furlong to post a two-length win as the prohibitive 1-2 favorite in Saturday's $300,000 Carry Back (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at Calder Race Course's Summit of Speed.
Steadied early by jockey Edgar Prado, Too Much Bling returned to the winner's circle after a troubled loss when stuck inside in the Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup (gr. II) in his last start at Belmont Park June 10. Prior to that, the speedy son of Rubiano had won three in a row this year, including Santa Anita's San Vicente (gr. II) and Aqueduct's Bay Shore (gr. III), both at seven furlongs.
The Ohio-bred Too Much Bling completed the six-furlong Carry Back in 1:10 2/5 for his fifth win in 10 lifetime starts for trainer Bob Baffert and owners Stonerside Stable and Blazing Meadows Farm. The gray colt earned $177,000 to boost his bankroll to $509,674.
Baffert, reached by phone, said he was stuck in traffic on the I-405 on his way to Del Mar and missed the race. It was the trainer's second win in as many tries at the Summit of Speed after taking last year's Smile Sprint with Woke Up Dreamin.
"He's deceiving looking, when you watch him train," Baffert said of Too Much Bling. "But he's superman in the afternoon. I'm just happy it worked (the trip from California).
"I'm not going to run him too often now. I want to keep him fresh for the Breeders' Cup Sprint and then take him to Dubai next year."
The winner steadied early after breaking sixth and tucked in behind the early speed as Mach Ride and Elvis Trujillo set off on a :21 2/5 opening quarter mile. Too Much Bling moved into second behind Mach One as they completed the half in :44 and moved three wide on the turn. After getting the lead in upper stretch, Too Much Bling had to battle a bit in order to edge away from Mach Ride as Prado gave him a left-handed whack at the furlong marker.
"He broke okay today, but everybody went for the lead; so I took a little hold to put him in the clear," Prado said. "It was over then."
Too Much Bling, who was bred by Destiny Farm LLC, paid $3, $2.40, and $2.10. The winner is out of the Formal Dinner mare Rose Colored.
Mach Ride ($4.60, $2.10) held second by three lengths over Blazing Rate ($2.20), who closed mildly for Jorge Chavez and was 4 1/2 lengths clear of fourth-place Laptop Computer.
Then came Northern Soldier, Yes He's the Man, Folk Festival, and Lord Vicar.