The win gives Vindication's trainer, Bob Baffert, a strong hand again this year for the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) Sept. 11. Baffert, who has won the last six runnings of the closing day race, sent out the first-, second-, and fourth-place finishers in Wednesday's Best Pal Stakes (gr. III), the main prep for the Futurity.
Vindication, a $2.15-million purchase at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale, ran his record to 2-for-2 with a front-running 1 1/2-length allowance victory in Del Mar's second race on Thursday.Carrying the green and gold silks of Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables, Vindication broke smoothly under Mike Smith, moved to the lead through an opening quarter-mile of :22.13, and was never seriously challenged thereafter, covering six furlongs in 1:11.40 under a moderate hand ride.Vindication is a 2-year-old colt by Seattle Slew out of Strawberry Reason, by Strawberry Road, and was bred in Kentucky by Payson Stud, which also bred Saturday's Alabama Stakes (gr. I) winner Farda Amiga. He was consigned to the Saratoga sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency. Vindication scored in his debut at Del Mar July 27, going wire to wire to win by 5 1/2 lengths.