C R K Stable's Kobe's Back extended his winning streak to two in 2016, circling the field in Saturday's Grade 2 San Carlos Stakes at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old son of Flatter won by 1 1/4 lengths, covering the seven furlong course over a main track listed as fast in 1:22.20 for trainer Peter Eurton.
Breaking at the back of the field as is his custom, Gary Stevens did not hustle Kobe's Back, but allowed him to settle into stride in the early going. Meanwhile, on the front end Mystery Train had taken over the lead by nearly two lengths to cover a quarter-mile in :22.79, a solid time on a track that took on a lot of rain quickly on Friday evening. He was followed by Outside Nashville and San Onofre through a half-mile in :45.16.
“I've been aboard him in a couple of workouts in the mornings, before his last race and again last week and there have been a few times that he's wanted to go after horses in front of him and I've let him,” said Stevens. “What I found out is that he's not only a great stretch runner but he's a good turn runner. And that wasn't the case last year. With a little time off and the addition of blinkers he seems a lot more focused. He's running on the turn so he's gaining ground and doesn't have to work so hard in the stretch. It gives me a lot of confidence. I knew at the half-mile pole that they were all in deep water and that's a pretty good feeling.”
Stevens began to move on Kobe's Back entering the final turn, rounding up the outside as Outside Nashville inherited the lead. Coastline made his move up the inside while Calculator moved near the middle of the pack, all three moving for the wire together. Coastline inherited the lead briefly but Kobe's Back ran him down, winning by 1 1/4 lengths. Calculator settled for third, and Cautious Giant held on to fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Joanne R. Mummert, Kobe's Back was first a $60,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Sale, then a $480,000 2-year-old at the Ocala Breeders' Select Sale. He has now won four graded stakes races and five races overall from 18 starts, increasing his career earnings to just over $950,000.
“Did you see how he came out of the gate? He broke too fresh, and that was good,” joked trainer Eurton. “He's just good right now. He's the best he's been in so long. Gary hustled him a little bit and then he kind of let him fall back. He'll probably run next at Churchill Downs on Derby Day (May 7 in the Churchill Downs Stakes at seven furlongs).”
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.