A majority interest in Sort it Out, winner of the Whirlaway Stakes, has been sold to Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable, who have turned the New York-bred over to trainer Bob Baffert. The colt's previous owner, Preferred Pals Stable, has retained a minority interest.
Stonerside plans to nominate Sort it Out, who was not an early nominee, to the Visa Triple Crown at a cost of $6,000 before the March 26 deadline. Baffert, who just returned from a skiing vacation in Utah, said Sort It Out will be pointed toward major stakes on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trail.
"Stonerside owns 25% of Out of Place
(sire of Sort it Out), and they liked the horse," Baffert said. "They worked with (agent) Don Brauer and were able to buy him. We talked about the horse, and I really liked his last race. The Whirlaway was a tough, tough race. He made a big three-eighths of a mile move, and then Naughty New Yorker, another horse I really like, came to him and looked like he was going to blow by him. But he wouldn't let him go by him. I really liked that about this horse.
"Distance is not going to be a problem. His breeding is good, and he's been running some decent numbers and is improving at the right time, and that's what you're looking for. We're buying a good 3-year-old, plus the safety net of the whole deal is that he's a New York-bred, so there are lot of races and bonus money for him there. He's doing good and he's moving forward, and I just hope I can do as good a job as Iwinski did with him."
Bred by Becky Thomas and Lewis Lakin, Sort it Out twice failed to meet his reserve at public auction, being bought back for $7,000 as a yearling and $27,000 as a 2-year-old.
In nine starts, he has four wins, including his last three. Among his beaten foes in the Whirlaway was the highly regarded Galloping Grocer, runner-up in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II).
Sort it Out's tail-female family represents Claiborne Farm at its finest. His second dam, Abrade, is a full-sister to champion Forty Niner, and his third dam, File, is a half-sister to the stakes-winning Tuerta, who is the dam of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont (gr. I) winner Swale.