Making his first start of the season and his first for trainer Bob Baffert, Runnymede-bred Kentucky Derby (G1) contender Jaycito trailed nine rivals early in the $250,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park before rallying to gain second on March 12.
The placing added $50,000 to the colt’s graded stakes earnings, moving him up to $250,000 as he seeks a place in the Derby starting gate. Overall, Jaycito has earned $260,000.
“He did good. He was way back there,” Baffert said, referring to the early stages of the San Felipe. “The horse learned a lot today, so we’ll go step by step.”
Racing for Zayat Stables, which purchased him as a yearling for $110,000 from Runnymede's consignment at the Keeneland September sale, Jaycito was ridden by Martin Garcia. Baffert had removed blinkers from Jaycito’s equipment following an incident in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in which the colt bolted to the far outside.
By Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Victory Gallop out of Runnymede’s Ascot Knight mare Night Edition, Jaycito has never finished worse than second in his career except for his troubled trip in the Juvenile. His record features a win the Norfolk Stakes (G1) and a runner-up effort in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).
Earlier this season, Night Edition foaled an outstanding half sister to Jaycito by Proud Citizen.