Despite the fact he was making only his second start and was facing the reigning Eclipse Champion Juvenile Male, Blame’s son Nadal was hammered down to 1-5 favoritism in Sunday’s Grade 2, $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita and he responded with a gutty three-quarter length win. Ridden by Joel Rosario and trained by Bob Baffert, Nadal got seven furlongs in a rapid 1:22.59.
Breaking sharply from post position four in a field of six sophomores, Nadal got early pressure from longshot Party Town to his inside and was seriously challenged to his outside around the far turn and to the sixteenth pole by a very tenacious Ginobili.
“Today, I told Joel, ‘Don’t get cute, just go,’” said Baffert, who registered his record 10th win in the iconic prep to the Grade I Santa Anita Derby. “‘We can rate him some other day.’ They took it to him, but if we’re gonna get beat, get beat. I trained him light for this, so this is my serious work…I thought he was gonna get beat. He got to gut it out today, so he’s got a good foundation now. This should set him up pretty good and I think we’ll go to the Rebel (Grade 2, 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park March 14).”
Owned by George Bolton, Arthur Hoyeau, Barry Lipman and Mark Mathiesen, Nadal, a Kentucky-bred colt by Blame who sold for $700,000 at the Fasig Tipton Florida March Selected 2-year-olds in Training Sale, is out of the Pulpit mare Ascending Angel. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $153,000 while unbeaten in two starts.
Blame stands at Claiborne Farm for $35,000.