With Garrett Gomez in the saddle, Macias overtook pace-setter Our Minesweeper entering the stretch, drew clear, and gamely withstood the late challenge by Hurricane Ike with Joe Talamo aboard. Privilaged, the 7-5 second choice ridden by Rafael Bejarano, finished third, two lengths behind the runner-up.
It was the second victory in three starts for the dark bay Kentucky-bred colt purchased at auction for $170,000 last year. The winning purse of $36,987 increased Macias’s earnings to $67,547.
“He was running, as you can see by the (final) time,” Gomez said after dismounting. “That other horse (Hurricane Ike) was coming after us, but my horse never let up. He accelerated and stayed on well. I think he’ll go long because he hits a high cruising speed and stays with it. He’s very game.”
It was the second win for Baffert in the event for 2-year-olds that was known as the Sunny Slope Stakes before being renamed in 2007. Its graduates include Ancient Title, Flying Paster, Snow Chief and Pleasant Tap. Baffert saddled 1998 winner Premier Property.
Baffert indicated he would try Macias at a longer distance in his next start. “He’s a very smart horse and very tractable,” he commented.
The sister stakes race to the Jack Goodman, the 31st running of the $58,000 Anoakia Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs, heads Sunday’s racing program at Santa Anita. First post for the nine races is at 12:30 p.m.