Our two year old colt Backbackbackgone remained undefeated by winning the Jack Goodman Stakes at Santa Anita yesterday. He is now a perfect 3 for 3, including two stakes wins. This time around he beat three very nice horses. The rail horse was undefeated (trained by Carla Gaines and working a hole in the wind), the five horse was rumored to be something special (and turned out to be!) and the six horse (Bob Baffert touted him before the race) just ran in a grade one stakes race at Belmont.
BBBG broke in front and set leisurely fractions of 22.3 and 45. As they approached the turn, the rail horse (#1) snuck by him on the inside and took the lead. Jockey Rafeal Bejarano was cool as a cucumber and kept BBBG nice and relaxed. When they straightened away in the stretch Bejarano asked the question…and BBBG gave him the answer! He sprinted by the rail horse and accelerated to the sixteenth pole. The 5 horse came flying up the outside (outside closers were winning all day), but BBBG just kept digging deeper and deeper. GM Sean Gerson knew it was going to be close. Team member Rich Siegel yelled, "you gotta believe!" At my ranch in Oklahoma I was on my feet shouting "don’t you let him get by you buddy – bring him home Rafeal!" At Santa Anita a crowd of Gerson Racing team members were screaming and yelling their lungs out.
BBBG and Rafeal Bejarano refused to let the 5 horse get by and won by a nose in 108.4. Wow! That is race horse time, and he showed real professionalism by keeping his cool, disposing of the rail horse, then holding off a late closer on a day when late closers were winning every race. For once I’m going to agree with Sean – there were some VERY nice horses in this race. There is no telling how good BBBG is. For today, he is undefeated, and there is no doubt he is 100% runner. Congratulations to GM Sean Gerson (www.gersonracing.com), trainer Peter Miller, jockey Rafeal Bejarno and all the Gerson Racing faithful.
Speaking of Sean Gerson, I’ll be flying out to LA/OC this week to join him for the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita. We’ll start the festivities with a private party at the House of Blues West Hollywood, then motor over to Santa Anita for the World Championships of Horse Racing Friday and Saturday. It is sure to beat the heck out of last years event at Monmouth where we endured sub-arctic temperatures and freezing rain to support our filly Set Play. By the way, Set Play finished her career with a fifth place finish in the Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland yesterday. She is retiring to be a Mama. She gave us many thrills, including a win in the grade one Del Mar Debutante and we wish her all the best!
I’ll post my Breeders Cup picks here on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.