West Coast clearly had no trouble traveling east, as he posted an authoritative victory in the $150,000 Easy Goer Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day in New York. Trained by Bob Baffert, the 3-year-old Flatter colt notched his first stakes victory in the 1 1/16-mile contest.
After breaking a touch slowly, West Coast sat mid-pack before making his move and drawing off to a 3 ¾ length score. With his win, West Coast impressed his connections enough to consider bigger prizes.
“We thought he’d run well,” said Baffert. “Today he got pinched off a little bit at the start, so it was a good thing because they were rolling up front. He’s really developing the right way. He can handle the distance well. He’s ready to take on the top races. You have races like the Haskell or Travers. We’ll see how he comes back.”
West Coast, who races for owners Gary and Mary West, is a son of the champion racemare Caressing and cost $425,000 as a yearling. He has been first or second in all five of his career starts, and in April, he finished second in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G3) at Keeneland in his stakes debut.
In addition to West Coast, Flatter has been represented by six other stakes horses in 2017. He stands at Claiborne for a fee of $35,000.