Vindication takes Juvenile
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Vindication stamped himself as the early favorite for the 129th Kentucky Derby with a dominating performance Saturday in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington Park.
Vindication, a Seattle Slew colt owned by the Padua Stables of Satish Sanan, returned $10.20 as second choice in a field of 13. He finished in 1:49.61 over a fast track when staying unbeaten in four starts.
After breaking sharply, Vindication dueled outside of Bull Market until the quarter pole, where he began edging away. Through the stretch, he continued to increase his lead under mild urging. "Bob said to just go out there and ride my race," said Smith.
Sanan, who has invested heavily in the yearling market in recent years, said "it's difficult to express how it feels right now. It's long overdue." Sanan's biggest previous win came with in the 1999 BC Juvenile Fillies with Cash Run, who was trained by D. Wayne Lukas.
Baffert said he told Sanan "that if this horse wins, he was going to become a paparazzi horse. I think he definitely became one today."
Vindication, bred by Payson Stud, last raced in the Sept. 14 Kentucky Cup Juvenile, winning by six lengths. "If he hadn't run so well that day, we might have thought about running him again before this, but he was so good that we just trained him into it," said Baffert.
The $2 exacta paid $164.60; the $2 trifecta, $1,131.20; and the $2 superfecta, $5,772.80.