BreederCFP Thoroughbreds LLC
Gary and Mary West’s West Coast secured his dominance of the 3-year-old division with another lopsided Grade I win when he rolled to a 7 ¼-length victory in Parx Racing’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby on September 23, winning his fifth straight race, and increasing his lifetime mark to six wins in eight starts.
"He is really a good horse," said his Hall of Fame jockey, Mike Smith, afterward. "He is just better than they are right now, as far as 3-year-olds go."
Smith was right, and West Coast began backing up Smith’s stamp of approval when the bay son of Flatter dominated the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on August 26. It had been 35 years since the three individual Triple Crown race winners squared off in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga. And this year, like in 1982, it wasn't one of them in the winner's circle at the historic spa in upstate New York.
In the 2017 edition, West Coast who went wire-to-wire under Smith to capture the important milestone, leaving everyone in his wake including Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness victor Cloud Computing, and Belmont Hero Tapwrit.
It was the second consecutive Travers for trainer Bob Baffert, who sent Arrogate to Saratoga last summer. The Travers served as a launching pad for an incredible run for Arrogate, who now has earnings over $17 million including last year's Breeders' Cup Classic.
This year, an eager West Coast broke sharply and assumed the lead. Always Dreaming stalked in second and Cloud Computing was in the mix through a half in 48.12 with Irap, Gunnevera, and Tapwrit gearing up as they turned for home.
But West Coast and Smith never had an anxious moment, letting it out another notch to win by three and a half lengths.
"They said, 'Listen, you ride him however you want, and he'll put (in) a big effort,' and that means I could do whatever I wanted," Smith said. "He was a happy horse all the way around there. There was a time or two when they came to me, but he just put them away, and every time they would, he'd take a big breath of air, so I felt confident he'd continue to run well."
West Coast, who was unraced as a 2-year-old, broke his maiden in his second start at Santa Anita in March, then was a good second in the Stonestreet Lexington Stakes (G2) at Keeneland in April. He captured the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) in his last start prior to the Travers.
West Coast will now try to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a Breeders’ Cup winner. His dam is champion Caressing, who won the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies en route to divisional honors.
|No Replay Available||September 23, 2017||Pennsylvania Derby||PARX RACING||1||1|
|No Replay Available||August 26, 2017||Travers S. Presented by NYRA Bets||SARATOGA||1||1|
|No Replay Available||July 15, 2017||Los Alamitos Derby||LOS ALAMITOS RACE COURSE||3||1|
|No Replay Available||June 10, 2017||Easy Goer S.||BELMONT PARK||1|
|No Replay Available||May 20, 2017||SANTA ANITA PARK||1|
|No Replay Available||April 15, 2017||Stonestreet Lexington S.||KEENELAND||3||2|
|No Replay Available||March 12, 2017||SANTA ANITA PARK||1|
|No Replay Available||February 18, 2017||SANTA ANITA PARK||2|