Battle of Midway, freshened after a solid third in the Kentucky Derby (G1), returned to the races Saturday at Santa Anita Park in the $100,000 Affirmed S. (G3) and came away with a front-running 4 1/4-length victory.
The 3-year-old colt owned by Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm has never been worse than third in six lifetime starts and has now earned $550,000. Prior to the Run for the Roses, Battle of Midway ran second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and third in the San Vicente S. (G2).
With just four runners in the starting gate, jockey Flavien Prat sent Battle of Midway right to the front, carving out modest fractions of :48.88 for the half-mile and 1:12.86 for six furlongs, before drawing off in the stretch to win in hand in 1:43.25 for the 1 1/16-miles on the fast main track.
“I think he’s showing that he’s coming into being a good horse and able to run against top competition. We want to look at that race (the Grade 1, $1 million Haskell Inv., July 30 at Monmouth Park). That’s the race that we’ve talked about. That doesn’t mean we’re absolutely going to do that (run in it). There are a few real tough horses that might go in that race, but we might run in there anyway.”
The Haskell annual draws one of the toughest field of 3-year-olds after the Triple Crown.
Battle of Midway is by Smart Strike and is the first foal out of Rigoletta, winner of the 2010 Oak Leaf S. (G1).