Seattle Borders, making his first start for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, wore down Stalking Tiger in the closing stages and notched a one-length victory in the $113,350 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Alex Solis at 114 pounds, Seattle Borders ran about 6 ½ furlongs in 1:14 on a downhill turf course labeled "good," and paid $12.60, $7.80 and $5.20.
Seattle Borders was one of several double-digit winners on the card and for the second straight day there were no tickets with six winners. The carryover to Sunday is $413,313, and the pool could soar near the $2 million mark.
A Florida bred by Western Borders, Seattle Borders was all over the map while racing five times as a 2-year-old in Delaware, New Jersey, Kentucky and Florida. Purchased by Edmund Gann of Rancho Santa Fe and transferred to Frankel last fall, Seattle Borders hadn't raced since breaking his maiden on the grass at a mile at Delaware Park on Oct. 26.
Frankel had Seattle Borders ready to roll, however, and the bay colt capped a stalking trip with a strong stretch kick and collared Stalking Tiger and Jungle Prince for the victory.Seattle Borders is nominated to the Triple Crown.
"He broke really good and I got placed right behind the speed," Solis said. "Actually I had a great trip, I was very lucky. I got him out in the clear and he came running."
Stalking Tiger, with Goncalino Almeida riding at 117 pounds, alternated for the lead from the start. He resisted gamely in the stretch, but was second best. The runner-up returned $10.60 and $6.40.
Jungle Prince, Victor Espinoza aboard at 114 pounds, also was prominent from the start and weakened slightly to finish third and paid $4.
Saint Afleet, the 17-10 favorite, rallied to finish fourth and was followed by Matt Blanc, Rush Into Heaven, Moulin de Mougins, Trois Villes, Gwaihir and Don'tsellmeshort.
Seattle Borders has an overall mark of 2-2-0 from six starts with earnings of $102,750. Saturday's win was worth $68,010.
Wimplestiltskin,Teton Forest, Roi Charmant and Minister Eric were scratched.