December 7, 2021

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Concert Tour rocks San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita – Orange County Register

Add Concert Tour to the ever-growing list of trainer Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby hopefuls after the Street Sense colt outdueled stablemate Freedom Fighter to the wire Saturday, winning the $200,000 Grade II San Vicente Stakes by a half-length at Santa Anita.

The victory gave Baffert his record 11th victory in the San Vicente as Concert Tour, a 3 1/2-length winner in his debut at Santa Anita on Jan. 15, joined Life Is Good and Medina Spirit as serious Derby contenders from the Hall of Fame trainer’s barn.

Concert Tour, with Joel Rosario aboard, sat third up the backside – with Freedom Fighter carving out splits of 23.41 and 45.98 – and engaged the pacesetter at the top of the stretch. The Baffert duo battled the length of the stretch before Concert Tour, the 2-5 favorite, gave Rosario his second graded-stakes victory of the afternoon.

Owned by Gary and Mary West, Concert Tour ran the 7 furlongs in 1:24.06 while remaining perfect in two starts. He went gate to wire to win his debut, but rated kindly for Rosario in the San Vicente.

“I learned a lot about (Concert Tour), how he wants to run and maybe he doesn’t need blinkers,” said Baffert, who hopes to win his record seventh Kentucky Derby on May 1. “Now we go to where I can stretch them out. I think from here you can take that big jump that you want to take.

“He’s going to have to really step it up now, but now he’s ready for it. He’ll be nominated everywhere. We will see how he comes out of it.”

Said Rosario: “After the other horse (Freedom Fighter) went to the lead, I thought (The Chosen Vron) was going to go faster, but he took his time and I thought I was in a good spot. He was a little green and cut away a little bit at the last part when I took the lead. I thought it was a good race.”

Concert Tour earned 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points with the victory.

Moonlight d’Oro carries jockey Flavien Prat to victory in the Las Virgenes Stakes on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. (Benoit Photo)

Las Virgenes Stakes

The Richard Mandella-trained Moonlight d’Oro rallied from last in the five-horse field to win the $200,000 Grade III race for 3-year-old fillies by 1 1/2 lengths over even-money favorite Kalypso and picked up 10 Kentucky Oaks (April 30) qualifying points.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro ran the 1-mile distance over a fast main track in 1:38.01 as the 6-5 second choice while winning for the second time in four starts. She went into the race off a three-length victory in a maiden special weight at Los Alamitos on Dec. 13.

Kalypso, who came in off a 1 3/4-length victory in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita on Jan. 3, held second by 1 3/4 lengths over Moraz, an 11-length winner while breaking her maiden on Jan. 8.

Masteroffoxhounds and jockey Joel Rosario win the San Marcos Stakes on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. (Benoit Photo)

San Marcos Stakes

Masteroffoxhounds, perhaps rounding into form as a turf standout, tracked pacesetter Acclimate from second most of the way before taking the lead in mid-stretch and drawing off to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $200,000 Grade II marathon on the grass.

The second betting choice at 8-5 under Rosario, the Richard Baltas-trained 4-year-old War Front colt ran the 1 1/4 miles over a firm turf course in 2:01.39 while winning his third race in nine tries.

Acclimate, the 6-5 favorite who set realistic fractions of 24.41, 49.37 and 1:14.19 for the distance, held on for second under Tyler Baze by 1 1/2 lengths over 19-1 longshot Starting Over.

Hit the Road and jockey Umberto Rispoli win the Thunder Road Stakes on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. (Benoit Photo)

Thunder Road Stakes

Hit the Road didn’t let a seven-month layoff deter him, rallying from third up the backstretch to win the $100,000 Grade III turf event by 3 3/4 lengths as the 3-1 third choice in the wagering with Umberto Rispoli aboard for trainer Dan Blacker.

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