Maymun Bests Imagination in Santa Anita Thriller


Photo: Benoit Photo
Maymun (inside) edges Imagination in a duel to the wire in an allowance race at Santa Anita Park

Maymun  left eyes widened three weeks ago when he scored a breathtaking 7 1/2-length maiden victory for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Wheeling back against first-level allowance company, and facing a salty stablemate in Imagination , the 3-year-old Frosted   colt delivered another winning performance Feb. 11.

Hammered down to 1-5 at the windows, Maymun acquired the lead in a matter of strides from the gate. Drifting into the path of his stablemate around the run into the first turn, jockey Juan Hernandez quickly corrected the colt down the backstretch and hung on for the ride as the bay streaked through comfortable early splits of :23.91 and :48.07.

Imagination swooped into challenge Maymun at the three-furlong marker, and the two proceeded to put on a show for the Santa Anita Park crowd from the quarter pole to the wire. Imagination, on the outside, appeared to gain the upper hand on Maymun in deep stretch until Maymun found another gear only yards before the finish, pushing past his barn mate in a startling burst of momentum for one at the end of a lengthy battle.

Maynum ($2.60), hit the wire in a final time of 1:36.65 for the mile over a fast main track.

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Owner Zedan Racing Stables purchased Maymun for $900,000 at last year's Ocala Breeders' Sale Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

Neither Maymun nor Imagination will be eligible to compete for Kentucky Derby (G1) points in the months ahead as Baffert has been under suspension from tracks owned by Churchill Downs, Inc. since May 9, 2021.