You can’t blame Bob Baffert this time. Sangaree was ready to roll and he went gamely all the way to the wire. But this brother of Congaree lost for the fifth straight time because of either poor racing tactics by Victor Espinoza or bad luck — depending on how harsh you want to be.
Sangaree, who went off at 7-to-1, broke with the leaders but settled into stride a couple of lengths off the pace. As they approached the turn, Espinoza allowed Sangaree to run up to the leading group — the only problem was that he was four paths wide on the whole turn, causing him to lose a ton of ground.
Throughout the turn, a four-horse wall vied for the lead together, which was an unusual sight to see. On the rail was #6 Stretchdrive, then #3 Lucius Antonius was just outside with #7 Ribald right next door. Sangaree was outside of them all, as the four bobbed heads through a 45.14-second half mile.
Sangaree outran the other pace setters, but his bad trip left him without the energy to hold off first-time starter #4 Scored. Alex Solis took the winner off the early pace by more than 10 lengths, then Scored swung wide entering the stretch and moved like an express train in the lane to get up by a head.
I bet $150 on Sangaree and $200 on #7 Ribald.
To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.