Slow Down Andy wins Los Alamitos Futurity, ending Bob Baffert’s streak

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LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. — Slow Down Andy upset heavily favored Messier by a length to win the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity, snapping trainer Bob Baffert’s seven-year winning streak in the race for 2-year-olds.

Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Slow Down Andy ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.33. The son of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist paid $12.40 and $3.40 as the 5-1 third choice in the wagering.

Messier, who won his two previous races by a combined 10 lengths, paid $2.10 to place. He finished nine lengths ahead of stablemate Barossa. Both are trained by Baffert, who had won the Futurity every year since 2014.

Durante was fourth and Olympic Legend fifth. There was no show wagering because of the small field.

Trained by Doug O’Neill, Slow Down Andy took over the lead early in the stretch, then gave it up to 1-2 favorite Messier when he lugged in. But Slow Down Andy regained his momentum and went on to the win.

Winning owner J. Paul Reddam suggested to O’Neill that he enter Slow Down Andy in the Futurity rather than run in the $100,000 King Glorious Stakes.

“I think everybody thought I was nuts, but they didn’t have the nerve to say so,” Reddam said. “He’s showed us from the beginning he’s a nice horse.”

O’Neill said he would have chosen Sunday’s race for Slow Down Andy’s third career start.

“This was strictly Paul wanting to take a chance and having faith in Slow Down Andy and thank God he did,” the trainer said. “Down the stretch it looked like we had it, then we didn’t and then we did, so it was very exciting.”

The victory, worth $180,000, increased Slow Down Andy’s career earnings to $249,850.

Baffert won three other races on Saturday’s card at the Orange County track.

Arabian Knight off Kentucky Derby trail; will return later

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Arabian Knight is off the Kentucky Derby trail.

Wagering has been suspended on the 3-year-old colt for the Derby’s future wager after owner Amr Zedan announced the decision. Arabian Knight was the second choice on the morning line behind favorite Forte for the May 6 race.

“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop,” Zedan tweeted. “We know he’s a superior talent & our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”

Purchased for $2.3 million as a 2-year-old, Arabian Knight won his debut by 7 1/4 lengths at Keeneland last November. He made his 3-year-old debut in the Southwest at Oaklawn in January and won by 5 1/2 lengths.

Arabian Knight had his third workout at Santa Anita.

Tapit Trice wins Tampa Bay Derby, earns Kentucky Derby points

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TAMPA, Fla. — Tapit Trice rallied from last to win the $360,000 Tampa Bay Derby by two lengths and earn qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.

Ridden by Luis Saez, Tapit Trice ran 1 1/16 miles 1:43.37. The 1-2 favorite in the field of 12 paid $3 to win. The 3-year-old colt earned 50 qualifying points, which places him in the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby on May 6.

Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher extended his record for most wins in the Grade 3 race to six. He already has the early Kentucky Derby favorite in Forte, who won the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream last weekend.

Classic Car Wash was second and Classic Legacy was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

Tapit Trice was making his stakes debut after winning two of three starts.

“Once he got clear down the lane, he really extended himself,” Pletcher said. ”I loved the way he finished up. He relished the two turns, and the longer he goes, the better he’ll get.”