San Vicente Stakes goes to Kobe's Back
Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Post-time favorite Kobe's Back came from last to win Sunday's $200,000 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Joel Rosario, Kobe's Back was making his first start in two months, but was the 17-10 favorite in the six-horse field.
The gray colt, owned by C R K Stable, bided his time during the seven-furlong prep for the Santa Anita Derby. Setting the pace was Papa Turf and second pick Cherubim. Also racing on the lead was Grazen's Hope.
Around the final turn, Cherubim and Papa Turf were still running on the lead as Kobe's Back made his move four wide. At the top of the stretch, Kobe's Back had drawn even with Cherubim and quickly went past to assume the lead inside the furlong pole.
Kobe's Back registered a 5 1/4-length win over Cherubim in his initial race on dirt. Rounding out the order of finish were Rprettyboyfloyd, Papa Turf, Roger Rocket and Grazen's Hope.
The time for the San Vicente on a fast track was 1:21.84.
"I just wanted Joel to ride him patiently," Sadler noted, "because everybody has us kind of counted out of the route races, except us. I wanted him off the pace a little bit and see if he'd finish up good so we could get him going around two turns next time."
Kobe's Back collected $120,000 for his first victory of 2014. The colt has two wins in four starts and $200,250.
The gray 3-year-old opened his career at Hollywood Park by winning the 5 1/2- furlong Willard Proctor Stakes on June 15. As the 9-10 favorite, he was second in the Hollywood Prevue in November, but finished 10th the next month in the CashCall Futurity after clipping heels.
"I've said all along that he's had three bad starts," said Lee Searing of C R K Stable, "he won the first one, got hammered in the second and we never had a chance out in the 12 hole last out. So finally, all the work John has put in and the right rider (has made the difference)."
Kobe's Back returned $5.40, $2.80 and $2.40. Cherubim paid $3.00 and $2.60, and Rprettyboyfloyd paid $3.00 to show.
02/16 18:41:08 ET