Untried Turf Runners Make Baldwin Interesting

Fourteen 3-year-olds, including a pair of also-eligibles, have been entered for Sunday's $100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT) at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf at Santa Anita Park.

The Baldwin will be the first start on grass for nine of the 14 entrants, making for a wide open heat.

The two most experienced turf runners in the lineup are Love Is Blind and Steelaninch, a pair of European imports who will be making their U.S. debuts under their new trainer James Cassidy.

Irish-bred Love Is Blind won once in eight grass races abroad last year. Martin Pedroza will ride the colt in the Baldwin.

Steelaninch, bred in England, has four victories in nine tries on turf. If both Cassidy runners get into the Baldwin, they will be coupled in the betting. Julie Krone could ride Steelaninch, but her first call is Echeverria from the barn of Paddy Gallagher.

Of the three Baldwin entrants with U.S. grass experience, Apalachian Thunder and Flirt With Fortune broke their maidens on the lawn. Jimmy O ran third in his only turf try.

Apalachian Thunder, trained by Bob Baffert, won a first-level allowance race on dirt on Jan. 24, his most recent start. Atswhatimtalkinbout, who finished third in that race, was an impressive allowance winner in Thursday's second race and is considered an early contender for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 5.

$100,000 Baldwin Stakes (gr. IIIT), 3-year-olds, about 6 1/2 furlongs on turf
PP., Rider, Wgt.
1. Love Is Blind, Martin Pedroza, 114 pounds
2. Echeverria, Julie Krone, 114
3. Flirt With Fortune, Corey Nakatani, 114
4. Only The Best, Patrick Valenzuela, 122
5. King Robyn, Alex Solis, 114
6. Apalachian Thunder, Victor Espinoza, 117
7. Jimmy O, Mike Smith, 117
8. Excessive Barb, Kent Desormeaux, 117
9. Buddy Gil, Gary Stevens, 117
10. Sailinwithcaptain, David Flores, 117
11. Zayed, Laffit Pincay Jr., 117
12. Roll Hennessy Roll, Tyler Baze, 122
AE Bossanova, Alex Solis, 114
AE Steelaninch, Julie Krone, 114.