Bajan, making her first dirt start, took to the new surface en route to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $70,000 Anokia S. Sunday on Santa Anita's main track. Bajan is Speightstown's 19th stakes winner of 2013, and pushed his progeny over the $9.5 million mark, both second-best on the General Sire list.
Visit Speightstown's Page
Trained by Simon Callaghan, Bajan got a nice trip in the three path, coming from third at the top of the lane to win going away.
“I think she definitely prefers this surface here at Santa Anita (her previous three races have been on synthetic at Del Mar and Hollywood Park),” said Callaghan. “She kind of got away with it at Del Mar, but coming here, it’s much more to her liking. They went quick and Victor (jockey Espinoza) had a perfect trip. She’s a nice filly and she picked them up well.”
Callaghan wasn't sure where the next start would be. “There are quite a few different options. I’ll have a chat with Aron (part owner Aron Wellman) and we’ll kind of think everything over.”
After the race, Wellman hinted at bigger things for the bay filly. “We haven’t thought about Breeders’ Cup (Nov. 1 at Santa Anita) at all to be honest but the way she won in here makes me think that two turns isn’t totally out of the question. We were focused on this race and getting her back in form. Now that we won this maybe we can start to think about that next step but I’m not going to rush into any decisions at this point. We’ll wait and just have to see what happens.”
Wellman, who owns Bajan in partnership with Ronald and Jerry Frankel picked the Kentucky-bred filly out of the OBS March 2-year-old Select sale, with a winning bid of $80,000. Bajan is out of the stakes-placed mare Critikal Reason, who is a half-sister to 2006 Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Lemons Forever.