ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Sky Kingdom defeated Smart Ellis by 4 1/2 lengths to win the $55,798 feature for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita on Thursday.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Sky Kingdom ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.72 and paid $3.20 and $2.10 as the odds-on favorite for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
Smart Ellis returned $3, while Spirit Rules was another length back in third. There was no show wagering after the field was reduced to four starters with the late scratch of Sir Allison.
Baffert says the race was a “paid workout” for Sky Kingdom, one of several Kentucky Derby contenders in his stable. He says Sky Kingdom’s next start will be in a stakes race.
The victory, worth $34,800, increased Sky Kingdom’s career earnings to $125,930.