Bayern provided Bob Baffert with his seventh Haskell Invitational victory when he pulled away to win by open lengths. (Photos by Equi-photo)
The plan of attack for the 3-year-old was to go straight for the lead out of the gate, a tactic executed perfectly by jockey Martin Garcia. It wasn’t surprising to see Wildcat Red go with Bayern but even with the speed in the race, Bayern was allowed to set an easy pace up front with Social Inclusion, Albano, and Untapable filling the third through fifth spots early on. While it was obvious in the far turn that 7/5 favorite Untapable was in trouble with Rosie Napravanik not getting a response from the filly, Bayern started pulling away as the field turned into the stretch.
In the end, Bayern didn’t have to worry about challengers, opening up lengths on the field and covering the distance in a time of 1:47.40. Albano, who had been in the fourth spot for most of the race, passed everyone else for second while Wildcat Red held on for third.
“When I asked him to go, he just took off,” Garcia said. “My horse was pretty much the best. I think he’s getting more mature and I think we know he can go [the distance of the Breeders’ Cup Classic] and he showed it today.”
Bayern has won four of his six career starts with the Haskelll being his first Grade 1 victory and second graded stakes win overall. Bayern was sent off as the second choice at odds of 4.70-to-1. With his victory in the Haskell, Bayern has earned a spot in the Breeders' Cup Classic due to the race being part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" program.
For an Equibase chart, click here.
BAYERN WINNING THE HASKELL