Favorite Too Much Bling
turned in a dazzling nine-length victory in the $150,000 Bay Shore (gr. III) on a sloppy, sealed Aqueduct track Saturday, establishing himself as the leading 3-year-old sprinter in the country.
The Bob Baffert-trained son of Rubiano left the small field behind coming off the turn and under hand urging from jockey Garrett Gomez, completed the seven-furlong event in 1:22 2/5. It was his first victory in three starts on a wet track for the California invader. The gray colt has won three in a row this year.
Baffert, who credited Gomez with getting Too Much Bling to learn to relax, reaffirmed that the 3-year-old colt was not a Derby contender.
"He was just so keen, he would run off. A lot of it has been maturity. We're just glad he's a fast son of a gun," the trainer said. "We'll keep him at one-turn races for now."
Too Much Bling, breaking from the outside in the field of five, led briefly before Gomez let One Way Flight and 3-2 second choice Songster slip by on the inside. One Way Flight set fractions of :22 2/5 and :45 with the previously undefeated Songster pressing the leader before Too Much Bling splashed up on the outside to take back the lead with three furlongs to go. He cleared off to a three-length lead coming off the turn and continued to open up through the lead.
Songster, ridden by Edgar Prado, held on to second by three-quarters of a length over One Way Flight and Channing Hill. Devil's Concierge and Trailing Twelve followed.
The Ohio-bred Too Much Bling earned $90,000 for owners Stonerside Stable and Blazing Meadows Farm, pushing his earnings to $282,674 while winning four of eight starts. Too Much Bling was coming off a 1 1/2-length win in the seven-furlong San Vicente (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 12.
He paid $4.20, $2.50, and $2.10. Songster returned $2.70 and $2.10. One Way Flight was $2.80 to show.
This marks the second straight year that a West Coast-based horse has won the Bay Shore. Last year, Lost in the Fog won this race en route to becoming the champion sprinter of 2005.
From his performance Saturday, Too Much Bling looks like he may make a run for the title as well.
"He ran really well," Gomez said. "One of the keys is trying to get him to shut down early in the race. I actually thought at the half-mile pole that he was getting a little eager. When I turned for home, I smooched to him and sent him on his way. He's got a mind of his own. He's got phenomenal speed. If he can keep that bottled up and enjoy himself, he's 10 times better."
Destiny Farm LLC bred Too Much Bling, who is out of Rose Colored Lady, by Formal Dinner.
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