El Gato Malo shatters all records in San Rafael(G3)
Records. Some look like they will last forever, like Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak. Others are made to be broken. Such was the case today as El Gato Malo, our undefeated three-year-old son of El Corredor, obliterated the track record at Santa Anita en route to dominating the $150,000 San Rafael Stakes(G3). Rating well off a torrid pace, El Gato Malo sat fourth over six-lengths back after a quarter-mile in 22.1. El Gato Malo continued to lope along down the backstretch nearly ten-lengths back after a half-mile in a blistering 44.1. The speed began to collapse on the turn, and jockey David Flores tipped El Gato Malo to the outside to commence his run. El Gato Malo began to inhale the leaders turning for home before rocketing past the pacesetters outside the eighth pole and drawing off with every stride to a more than six-length victory. El Gato Malo stopped the teletimer for the mile in a record 1:33.37. El Gato Malo eclipsed the old track record by more than a full second, and his time was even faster than the track record of the old dirt surface. This was truly a tour-de-force performance that stamps El Gato Malo as the top contender for the Kentucky Derby on the west coast.
Trainer Craig Dollase said, "We knew this horse was the real deal from the beginning. However, this race was amazing. I thought he had it in him, but to see everything come together like this is absolutely a dream come true. This horse still has so much to learn, too. We could just be scratching the surface of his potential, so buckle up for the ride that awaits."
Jockey David Flores said, "I knew there was some speed in the race, but I didn't think there would be that much. There were three bullets out in front. I let my horse settle. When we hit the turn I pushed the button and he was there for me. When we made the lead he really started to play around. You could see his head turn. He hasn't quite learned everything yet. When I hit him once with the stick he switched leads. As he learns more he's going to be a real force. Look out."
El Gato Malo is now three for three in his career with each victory by more than four-lengths. His career earnings now stand at $160,200.
We have one target for El Gato Malo, the $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby(G1) on May 3rd at Churchill Downs. Our objective is to work our way back from there. Our logical next race would be either the $200,000 Sham Stakes(G3) on March 1st at Santa Anita or the $200,000 San Felipe Stakes(G2) on March 15th at Santa Anita. We would use one of those races as a prep for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby(G1) on April 5th at Santa Anita.