Da Stoops Expected to Lead Baldwin Charge

Da Stoops Expected to Lead Baldwin Charge
Photo: Benoit
Sunshine Millions Dash winner Da Stoops heads strong Baldwin field.
Trainer Bob Baffert's Da Stoops, winner of his last two stakes races by a combined 16 ¼ lengths, is expected to be a prohibitive favorite in the Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds Saturday on the Santa Anita Park turf.

A field of 13 is scheduled to start in the about 6 1/2-furlong test on the hillside turf course.

Da Stoops, who carries 122 pounds, figures to rate as a heavy choice even though the Baldwin will be his first try on grass. The California-bred colt by Distorted Humor   won the Sunshine Millions Dash by 7 1/2 lengths in his only start this year. Regular rider Victor Espinoza takes the call.

Juddmonte Farms' Set Alight returns to the lawn after finishing 13th in the Bessemer Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in October in his only United States start for trainer Bobby Frankel. The son of Hennessy was a group III winner in France in his last start on grass.

Frankel also sends out To Sender for Juddmonte. The son of King's Best won a first-level allowance test over the hillside course in his only U.S. start while lugging in a bit Jan. 22.

Bengal Lore, an impressive gate to wire winner in a first-level allowance race for trainer Ted West in his last start Feb. 11, tries the grass for the first time with Kent Desormeaux returning to ride. Also making an initial try on the grass is Sinister Minister, most recently sixth in the seven-furlong San Vicente (gr. II) last month for Baffert.

Vibank was a back-to-back stakes winner for trainer Josie Carroll on the Woodbine main track last summer. The Baldwin will be the first start for the son of Silver Deputy since winning the Clarendon for Ontario breds by 1 1/4 lengths in June.

$100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 4, 1:30 p.m.), 3-year-olds, about 6 1/2 furlongs (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ten Downing Street (IRE), 114, David Flores
2. Vibank (ON), 117, Fernando Valenzuela
3. Set Alight (KY), 114, Patrick Valenzuela
4. Global Genius (IRE), 114, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
5. To Sender (GB), 117, Alex Solis
6. Dark Nose (CA), 114, Jon Court
7. Bengal Lore (KY), 117, Kent Desormeaux
8. Within Reason (KY), 114, Martin Pedroza
9. Sinister Minister (KY), 114, Julio Garcia
10. Fast Parade (WA), 114, Garrett Gomez
11. Da Stoops (CA), 122, Victor Espinoza
12. The Pharaoh (FL), 114, Tyler Baze
13. Lead the Launch (KY), 114, Felipe F. Martinez

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