September 23, 2023

Newgrange gets up late in San Pasqual

Newgrange prevails over a gutsy Hopper (right) and Parnelli (center) in the San Pasqual (Photo by Benoit Photo)

Newgrange caught 7-5 favorite Hopper in deep stretch and edged away to a one-length victory in Saturday’s $202,000 San Pasqual (G2) at Santa Anita. Off as the 4-1 third choice in the nine-horse field, Newgrange earned his first stakes win since opening last year with back-to-back tallies in the Sham (G3) and Southwest (G3).

Phil d’Amato conditions the four-year-old colt for David Bernsen, Little Red Feather Racing, and Rockingham Ranch, and Juan Hernandez was up. Newgrange was exiting a third in last November’s Native Diver (G3) to Defunded, who finished second in Saturday’s $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

By Violence, Newgrange completed the 1 1/8-mile distance in 1:49.97. He stalked pacesetter Hopper in second early on the backstretch, dropped back to third on the far turn, and rallied back into contention while turning for home, eventually wearing down the pacesetter.

Parnelli, who applied pressure upon Hopper on the far turn, was a head back of Hopper in third. Messier, Tripoli, American Admiral, Breakfast Ride, Perfect Flight, and Go On completed the order of finish.

Bred in Kentucky by Jack Mandato and Black Rock Thoroughbreds, Newgrange was initially purchased for $125,000 as a yearling, and Bob Baffert trained him for the first four starts. The dark bay colt was offered at the Keeneland November sale last fall, selling for $325,000. He’s the first stakes winner from the Empire Maker mare Bella Chianti, and Newgrange has now earned $747,334 from an 8-5-0-2 record.