Mor Spirit to make 3-year-old debut for trainer Baffert

BY foxsports • February 5, 2016

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Mor Spirit will be making his 3-year-old debut for Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.

The horse heads a field of seven for the Grade 3 race at Santa Anita on Saturday.

It's a chance for Baffert to see how Mor Spirit stacks up in an early prep for the Kentucky Derby, along with his other entry Let's Meet in Rio.

Gary Stevens will be aboard Mor Spirit for the 1 1/16-mile race. The 3-year-old horse has two wins in four career starts and earnings of $288,400. Mor Spirit is known as a ridgling because he has one undescended testicle. Bred in Pennsylvania, he is a son of Eskendereya, who was the early favorite for the 2010 Kentucky Derby before being withdrawn with a leg injury.

''He's a big horse and beautifully made,'' Baffert said. ''He's got a really long stride. He'll be best going a mile and an eighth and further.''

His other entry, Kentucky-bred Let's Meet in Rio, will be ridden by Kent Desormeaux. The colt was a close second in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes on Jan. 9.

Baffert trained American Pharoah to a sweep of the Triple Crown races last year.

Jerry Hollendorfer will saddle I Will Score, who will be ridden by fellow Hall of Famer Mike Smith.

The field for the Lewis with jockeys and weights: Let's Meet in Rio, Desormeaux, 119 pounds; I Will Score, Mike Smith, 119; Dressed in Hermes, Rafael Bejarano, 121; Laoban, Tyler Baze, 119; Mor Spirit, Stevens, 124; Path of David, Joe Talamo, 119; and Uncle Lino, Fernando Perez, 119.