Johannes overcomes rough trip to take Santa Anita’s Baffle Stakes

Three-year-old Nyquist colt remains perfect in two turf starts

Johannes made his Stakes debut a winning one by overcoming a troubled trip to claim a one-and-a-quarter length victory over Wizard of Westwood in the $100,000 Baffle Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday, 5 March.

The three-year-old son of Nyquist, who remains perfect in two turf tries, improved his record to two victories and one third-place finish in five career starts.

Entering the Baffle Stakes off a nine-length victory on the turf in his previous start, Johannes was settled off the pace near the rear of the field but was only three lengths off the leader as the field raced down Santa Anita’s turf chute.

As the runners crossed over the dirt course and transitioned back to the turf for the stretch run, Johannes was forced to steady after being bumped hard by Mi Hermano Ramon on his outside. Jockey Umberto Rispoli kept Johannes focused despite the rough trip, and the pair surged past their rivals late to win going away. 

Bred in Kentucky, Johannes races as a homebred for Cuyathy, LLC. Johannes is out of the mare Cuyathy, a Stakes-placed daughter of Congrats that is a half-sister to multiple Graded Stakes-placed Join in the Dance (Sky Mesa). The female family also boasts of such standouts as Pennyhill Park (Champion Older Mare in Canada), Elm Drive (G2 Sorrento Stakes) and Mother of Dragons (California Governor’s Handicap).

The leading first-crop sire of 2020, Nyquist is #1 on the cumulative fourth-crop sires list by G1 horses (9), Graded Stakes horses (22) and Black Type horses (43).

Nyquist stands at Jonabell Farm for a fee of $55,000 in 2023.