Mike Pegram's Icecoldbeeratreds broke alertly and was never headed in winning the $125,000 Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old California breds Wednesday in stakes-record time at Del Mar.
Trained by Bob Baffert, who won his third straight Graduation Stakes, Icecoldbeeratreds covered the 5 1/2-furlongs in 1:03 1/5, taking 3/5 off the old mark set by Arabian Light in 2000. The time was just a second off the track mark set by Ack Ack in 1970. David Flores rode him.
The victory was worth $75,000 to the winner, who is now undefeated in two career starts.
"I told David to just send him away from [the gate]," said Baffert who won the Graduation previously with Arabian Light and Officer. "I was worried he might be a little short. We lost some time with him after his first race. His shins were bugging him, so we backed off of him for a while. We just jogged him. If your short you're just better off letting them roll away from there and let them come to you."
A homebred son of In Excess, the 2-1 second choice in the nine-horse field finished 3 1/2 lengths ahead of the 6-5 favorite, Jury Box, trained by D. Wayne Lukas. Expression held off the late-closing Martinblestme, for third. The top three finishers all were sired by the Vessels Stallion Farm's In Excess.
Mike Smith, aboard Jury Box, said his horse couldn't overcome a bothered break.
"That incident at the beginning could well have cost me the race," Smith said. "My horse ducked in (into Oberwald) and the other half of the entry (Luzern) ducked out and we all banged. It turned my horse sideways. He was on the wrong lead and I couldn't hit the accelerator and get him going. It let the other horse (Icecoldbeeratreds) get the jump on meand that was pretty much the race. If I don't get banged, then I think I'm on the lead and he's got to come get me. Then it is at least a race."
Baffert said he is undecided on the colt's next race.
Icecoldbeeratreds paid $6.60, $3.40 and $2.80. Jury Box returned $3 and $2.20. Expression paid $3 to show. The $2 exacta was $16.80.
There is a carryover of $125,908 going into Thursday's card.