ORIENTATE'S 4-year-old son DECLASSIFY did not back down and did not give up as the lightly-raced Bob Baffert-trained colt battled down the stretch to win the $300,000 Gr. 1 Triple Bend Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, June 28. After leading early and being passed on the far turn, the Kaleem Shah Inc. colorbearer caught Cyclometer in the final strides to win by a nose in his stakes debut.
“I thought I was beat at the top of the stretch,” said rider Martin Garcia. “My horse was trying everything, every step of the way. He never gave up. Cyclometer moved into me a little bit in the stretch and my horse was intimidated. He responded again though, he’s such a good horse.”
Final time for the seven furlongs was a snappy 1:22.03.
Baffert has always held DECLASSIFY in high regard. The colt, a $450,000 April OBS 2-year-old in training purchase in 2012, won the first two starts of his career in sensational style in the spring of 2013, scorching in his debut by 11 1/2 lengths at Santa Anita and taking a first-level allowance at Hollywood Park by seven and a half lengths. Sidelined by quarter cracks a year ago, the striking dark bay has now won three of five starts for earnings of $261,240.