One week after Always Dreaming captured the Kentucky Derby (G1), Bodemeister chalked up another graded stakes-winning 3-year-old colt when American Anthem won the $100,000 Lazaro Barrera S. (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
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After spending most of the spring on the Triple Crown trail, trainer Bob Baffert cut American Anthem back to seven furlongs for the Barrera. Breaking from the inside post in the field of five, Mike Smith took American Anthem back off the pace, then circled four wide on the turn to take the lead with a quarter-mile to run.
Smith kept his mount to the task in the stretch to defeat Kimbear by 1 3/4-lengths in 1:22.02 on a fast track.
“I don’t know if distance is an issue,” said Jimmy Barnes, assistant to Baffert. “At Oaklawn (in the Grade 2 Rebel S. on March 18) we lost a shoe and in the (April 8) Santa Anita Derby, it was more the way the race set up, going so fast early.
“I don’t think stretching him out is out of the question but those are Bob’s decisions and China Horse Club’s. I just take care of the horse and make sure he’s healthy for each race.”
WinStar Farm, LLC, China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, LLC, SF Racing, LLC et al own the bay colt, which WinStar also bred from the mare Indy's Windy, who is a sister to the 3-year-old champion filly Banshee Breeze.