As if he didn't have enough 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby trail, trainer Bob Baffert may have found another after an allowance race Friday at Santa Anita.
War Academy posted a 3 1/2-length victory on Friday in a 1 1/16-mile allowance contest and has Baffert and jockey Mike Smith excited enough to believe the colt is Kentucky Derby material.
"He might be my (Derby) horse Bob," said the Hall of Fame jockey to Baffert following War Academy's win in Friday's second race. "What I like so much about him is there's so much room to improve. He was well, well within himself today."
Making just his third career start, War Academy, racing second in the five- horse field, ran past pacesetter Manando down the stretch and stopped the timer in 1:43.42 as the 9-10 favorite. Manando was the defeated 2-1 favorite in last month's El Camino Real Derby,
"I'm going to run him in a big prep, he'll hit one of the big preps," said the Hall of Fame trainer. "I don't know where yet, but it'll be a hundred (qualifying) points whatever it is. We're goin' for the bonus round ... Mike's always been real high on this horse."
War Academy is owned by Michael Tabor, John Magnier and Derrick Smith.