Edited Release — A pair of impressive first time maiden winners, Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour and Eric Kruljac’s The Chosen Vron, head a field of six sophomores going seven furlongs in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.
Under a snug hold early, Concert Tour could not have been any more impressive on Jan. 15, as he drew out to a 3 ½ length win going six furlongs in a manner that suggested he should relish more distance. By Street Sense out of the Tapit mare Purse Strings, this Gary and Mary West homebred colt appeared well within himself as the even money favorite and figures to again be a short price with Joel Rosario back aboard.
A California-bred gelding by Vronsky, The Chosen Vron was very quick from the gate in his 6 ½ furlong debut Dec. 27 and he was much the best among nine statebred rivals as the 2-1 favorite, winning off by 6 ¾ lengths under eastern-based John Velazquez.
Out of the Tiz Wonderful mare Tiz Molly, The Chosen Vron is owned by Eric Kruljac, Robert Fetkin, John Sondereker and Richard Thornburgh. Although impressive in his debut, he’ll be facing much tougher with Mike Smith up.
Second to Concert Tour at odds of 3-1, Simon Callaghan’s Mr. Impossible will hope to turn the tables in what will also be his second start. Although a non-threatening runner-up, he finished eight lengths clear of the third horse in his debut and will retain the services of Umberto Rispoli.
A Kentucky-bred colt by Munnings, out of the Shamardal mare Qaraaba, Mr. Impossible is owned by his breeder, Alice Bamford, and Michael Tabor.
The “other Baffert” in the San Vicente field is Freedom Fighter. Idle since breaking his maiden at first asking on Aug. 1, it’s worth noting he was the heavy 1-2 favorite in a field of nine, showed good speed and prevailed in game fashion by a head. Owned by SF Racing, LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, LLC, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm, LLC and Robert Masterson, this colt by Violence has been training in solid fashion for his return with Drayden Van Dyke up.
Like The Chosen Vron, Reddam Racing’s homebred Found My Ball is a California-bred stepping into open company. A runaway six length maiden going six furlongs in his second start on Jan. 22, this chestnut colt by Square Eddie, out of the Ten Most Wanted mare Silar Rules, will be ridden back by Mario Gutierrez.
An important prep to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby on April 3, the San Vicente will be run for the 79th time on Saturday.