(Reincarnate wins G3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita / Benoit Photo & Courtesy of Santa Anita)

By Dennis Trusty:

Lugan Knight Holds Off Artic Blast in the Jerome;

Scoobie Quando Debuts in a Dazzling Effort in Turfway Prevue;

Reincarnate Rises Up To Spring The Shock In The Sham 

It was wire to wire fashion for Lugan Knight, who was gritty as Artic Arrogance was looking frosty the entire trip, breathing down on his neck the entire mile.

The first quarter mile was up in 23.41 before being slowed down to a 47.70 for the half mile time. General Banker did make a 4-wide move midway through the turn to finish 3rd.

I think Artic Arrogance and Jose Lezcano thought they had Lugan Knight in trouble, at one point. Lezcano looked like he was taking a couple of looks back to see competition that may be coming. The three quarters up in 1:12.73.

But off the turn,  Artic Arrogance turned his head kinda sideways, maybe since he has never passed horses to win a race before, and Lugan Knight was gritty the entire time — not letting anyone get by.  A game Dylan Davis was aboard and offered plenty of left-handed urging.

I don’t want to take anything away from Lugan Knight, but I think if Artic Arrogance got the lead or maybe took the lead in the turn, it might have been a different outcome.

This effort flatters Victory Formation, who won a Derby Prep last week for Brad Cox. Lugan Knight finished Victory Formation last time out at Churchill Downs. Those 2 were in front of the rest of the field by about 8 lengths, in a final time 1:37.77.

Winning Jockey Dylan Davis, Winning Trainer Michael W McCarthy, Winning Owner Bg Stables, Lugan Knight’s Sire Goldencents Dam Sly Roxy.  

Trusty’s Final Analysis: Race Grade B was good efforts from the top 2 but both need to improve.  

Going to Florence, KY. and the Turfway Preview Stakes — which was worth a whopping $125,000 purse money — and there was a stunning debut in Scoobie Quando for Ben Colebrook in a come from behind victory.

It was a 5-horse field with the scratch of Drew’s Gold. All broke well except for trainer Tommy Short’s #4 Accident. As expected, Retained shot out to the lead, with Proven Right on his flank. It made for a perfect trip here with rider Luan Machado on Scoobie Quando.

As as first-timer,  you want to be in a perfect spot — all by yourself with no horse bothering you — and he was perfectly located outside and in 3rd with no troubles.

The time was kind of quick for Turfway Park — going 22.59 in the first quarter. At the half mile pole, Malcom Franklin peeked back and appeared to be looking for Accident and Scoobie Quando. At that time, his wrist movement picked up, as he saw Accident in his rear-view mirror.

At the 3-furlong marker,  Retained broke loose with about a length and a half lead, but Scoobie Quando was tracking him down. Accident tried to pick up some pace, but tired late and gave up. Scoobie Quando got past Retained narrowly in the win.

Winning Jockey Luan Machado, Winning Trainer Ben Colebrook, Winning Owners Andrew N Warren And Rania Warren. Sire Uncle Mo, Dam Daveron (Germany). Final time for 6 ½ furlongs  

Trusty’s Final Analysis: Race Grade A+. I think for Scoobie Quando,  the connections expected this horse to run a huge effort and he delivered. This will be a key horse for the Turfway Trail to the Derby. 

The Sham Stakes was run on Sunday at Santa Anita, and, first of all,  Spun Intended was pulled up around the 2 furlongs to go mark. I hope that horse is ok. Thoughts out to trainer Mark Glatt and Edge Racing and Muir Hut Stables LLC.

But the Baffert trio dominated.

Packs a Wahlop did not take to the dirt, as I expected. Reincarnate was going to be the speed, and it would be a chess match with Spun Intended. And they went fast 22.28, 45.57, 1:09.55. But, maybe as a result, the leaders came home slow in 1:35.87.

I think National Treasure — who was your heavy Baffert favorite — does not want to go 2 turns or want to go that fast, either. He never seemed comfortable and always appeared out run against everyone in the field.

Newgate might be one to watch for jockey Frankie Dettori,  come Derby time. He ran a nice race, but just couldn’t get by Reincarnate.

As for Reincarnate? I think this was a perfect ride by Juan Hernandez. Stop me when you’ve heard this story before, but Baffert runs 1-2-3 in a Derby Prep.

Winning Jockey Juan Hernandez Winning Trainer Bob Baffert Winning Owner SF Racing LLC. Starlight Stables LLC. Madaket Stables LLC. et al. Sire Good Magic Dam Allanah 

Trusty’s Final Analysis: Race Grade C-. To me it was a bad race after a turf horse and the main challenger to Baffert’s trio both pulled up. Great job by Reincarnate to hold off Newgate, but what does that mean for the Derby picture? Lots of questions still remain here.