Misremembered Posts Unforgettable Swaps Win

Misremembered Posts Unforgettable Swaps Win
Photo: Benoit
Misremembered and Victor Espinoza take the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park.
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Trainer Bob Baffert won the first stakes of his career with a horse he bred when Misremembered   led all the way to upset 7-10 choice Grazen in the $284,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Hollywood Park July 18.

"I'm in shock," Baffert told TVG immediately after the race. "I've never won a stakes with a horse I bred or own. I'm always calling somebody else right after a win."

The win was a record-tying fourth in the Swaps for Baffert, who tied a record set by D. Wayne Lukas. Baffert also won with Captain Steve (2000), Congaree (2001), and During (2003). Baffert is to be inducted into racing's National Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs Aug. 14.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Misremembered scored his first stakes victory by 1 3/4 lengths while completing the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-olds in 1:49.02 on the Cushion Track.

Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) winner Grazen, who found himself in the unfamiliar position of chasing the pace, checked in second, snapping his three-race win streak. Grazen beat Misremembered handily by 2 3/4 lengths in the June 20 Affirmed.

Misremembered, who runs in the name of Jill Baffert, the trainer's wife, and longtime family friend George Jacobs, is by Candy Ride   out of the Quack mare Beyond Perfection, a former grade I winner for trainer Jack Van Berg. Baffert said that his longtime client John Sikura convinced him to buy the mare "and forced me to breed him to Candy Ride. I was going to breed her to Point Given."

Baffert said the gangly ridgling got his name because he was turned out after they determined he needed time to grow before starting his racing career. Then they forgot about him.

He'll be harder to forget after his Swaps victory, which was worth $180,000.

"It’s exciting to have a horse like this," Baffert said. "It looks like this one is not a problem; he’s getting better. He was coming into this race in great shape and he’s going to get better with age.

“It’s sort of been tough, I’ve been depressed since Pioneerof the Nile got hurt, so this sort of takes a lot of the sting out of it.“

Espinoza guided Misremembered to the early lead and Grazen, who is always in front, tucked in three paths from the rail for Rafael Bejarano as the pacesetter clicked off even fractions of :24.44, :49.18, and 1:12.83. Misremembered led by 1 1/2 lengths at that point and gradually inched away on the turn. Grazen came under pressure at the head of the lane and drew to within nearly a length as they approached the eighth pole. But Misremembered responded to urging from Espinoza and held sway to the wire.

"I left it up to Victor," Baffert said. "He had it in his mind (to take the lead early). He thought that Bejarano will take back (on Grazen) if he got a clear lead. It was a very heady ride by Victor."

"I've ridden him several times and we really get along good," Espinoza said. "He was ready today. I wanted to get out of there fast. I was planning to go to the front. He's a free-running horse and I wanted to take it to the other horse early. If they went too fast I would have had to slow down a little bit. But I figured if we were going slower than :23 and :45 we'd be okay. After three-quarters they were going to have to come running because with those fractions I knew he was going to be hard to beat."

Misremembered, who debuted with a sixth-place finish on the turf at Santa Anita in April, has won three of four starts since. His earnings jumped to $259,200. It was a big day for Candy Ride, who also sired Evita Argentina, winner of the $150,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) two races eariler.

Scorewithcater, with Joe Talamo aboard, finished third, three lengths behind the winner. Then came Massone, Conservative, Quindici Man, and Advice.

The two Eastern invaders, Conservative, trained by Shug McGaughey, and the Todd Pletcher-conditioned Advice, both had off-days. Conservative, who went for an early run on the backstretch to pressure the leaders on the outside, continued wide through the far turn and dropped back under Mike Smith in the lane. Advice, the 120-pound top weight, pulled at the bit early while just off the rail and came up empty in the drive for Garrett Gomez.

Sent off as the second choice, Misremembered carried 114 and paid $10.20 $3.80, and $3.20, keying a $2 exacta worth $21.80 with Grazen ($2.60, $2.10). Scorewithcater, at 30-1, was $7 to show.

"He's just not the same horse as when he makes the lead," Bejarano said of Grazen. "He didn't want to run by that other horse. I thought he was still going to show me something in the stretch because I had a lot of horse, but he looked like he was kind of afraid to go by."

Dover Street Art scratched.
 

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