LOS ANGELES — Lord Nelson won the $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship by 2 1/2 lengths, earning his third straight Grade 1 victory for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Lord Nelson ran six furlongs in 1:08.80 and paid $3, $2.10 and $2.10 as the heavy 1-2 favorite in the field of five. Bettors wagered $699,812 from a total show pool of $752,109 on the 4-year-old colt.
All Run returned $8.80 and $2.80 at 23-1 odds, while Lord Nelson’s stablemate, Jazzy Times, was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.10 to show.
Lord Nelson’s fourth straight win earned him an all-fees paid berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.
“The Sprint is a tough race to win, but if you have the right kind of horse you can do it,” Prat said, “and so far, Lord Nelson looks like the right kind of horse. He likes this track, he hasn’t lost this year.”
Lord Nelson has won five of eight races at Santa Anita. The victory, worth $180,000, increased his career earnings to $958,271, with seven wins in 12 starts.
In the $200,000 City of Hope Mile, Vyjack wore down Om and even-money stablemate Obviously to win by a half-length.
Ridden by Prat, Vyjack ran the distance in a course-record 1:31.69 and paid $10.60, $4.80 and $2.80 at 4-1 odds in the field of 10.
Om returned $4.40 and $2.40, while Obviously was another half-length back in third and paid $2.10 to show.
Trained by Phil D’Amato, Vyjack will be pointed toward either the BC Dirt Mile or the BC Mile on turf.
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Vyjack’s career earnings to $1,321,900, with eight wins in 27 starts.
In the $70,000 Swingtime Stakes for fillies and mares, Curlin’s Fox won by 1 1/2 lengths under Stevens.
Trained by Carla Gaines, the winner ran one mile on turf in 1:32.77 and paid $7.80, $4.40 and $3.40.
Kitcat returned $5.40 and $4, while Queen of the Sand was another 1 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.