Mor Spirit won the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 19.

Mor Spirit won the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 19.

Benoit Photo

Mor Spirit Makes Season Debut in Lewis

Eskendereya colt could follow stablemate Dortmund's path to the Kentucky Derby.

As the series of Southern California Triple Crown preps really kicks into gear with the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III) Feb. 6 at Santa Anita Park, once again a Bob Baffert-trained colt looms prominently.

Nearly a month after Speedway Stable's Collected won the region's first Kentucky Derby points race in the mile Sham (gr. III) Jan. 9, Michael Lund Petersen's Mor Spirit will get his turn to take a crack at gaining 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard in his 2016 debut.

Already in eighth, with 14 points, off a victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 19 and a second-place finish to Airoforce  in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) Nov. 28, Mor Spirit appears to be on the same path stablemate Dortmund  took in 2015, when he won the Futurity, Lewis, San Felipe (gr. II), and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on his way to the Run for the Roses.

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But the Pennsylvania-bred son of Eskendereya is not the only colt from the Baffert barn entered in the Lewis. Juddmonte Farms' Let's Meet in Rio drew the rail off a second-place finish in the Sham. The Flatter  colt broke his maiden at third asking in December and could continue to take steps forward off his stakes debut. Another Sham runner, maiden Laoban , will try again after his third-place finish in January.

Other intriguing Lewis entrants include last-out stakes winners Dressed in Hermes and Path of David, but both of those victories came over the Southern California turf.

Budget Stable's Dressed in Hermes, who won the Cecil B. DeMille (gr. IIIT) at Del Mar in November, was scheduled to make his 2016 debut in the Sham but was scratched before the race, while Path of David is entering off back-to-back wins, including the Eddie Logan Stakes over the Santa Anita turf Dec. 31.

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Also entered is unbeaten allowance winner I Will Score and maiden victor Uncle Lino .

Entries: Robert B. Lewis S. (G3)

Santa Anita Park, Saturday, February 06, 2016, Race 4

  • Grade III
  • 1 1/16m
  • Dirt
  • $150,000
  • 3 yo
  • 2:09 PM (local)
11Let's Meet in Rio (KY)Kent J. Desormeaux119Bob Baffert6/1
22I Will Score (KY)Mike E. Smith119Jerry Hollendorfer5/2
33Dressed in Hermes (KY)Rafael Bejarano121Janet Armstrong6/1
44Laoban (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze119Eric J. Guillot12/1
55Mor Spirit (PA)Gary L. Stevens124Bob Baffert8/5
66Path of David (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoseph Talamo119Kristin Mulhall8/1
77Uncle Lino (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFernando Hernandez Perez119Gary Sherlock5/1