Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman’s Azul Coast
added 10 points on the “2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby
” when securing a 1 ¼-length victory in the $101,800 El Camino Real Derby
at Golden Gate Fields. The bay sophomore endured 1 ⅛ miles on the Tapeta surface in 1:51.58 en route to his initial stakes triumph with Rafael Bejarano in the silks.
Azul Coast made his debut at Los Alamitos on December 8 in a one-mile maiden special weight contest. Sent postward as the 2-1 choice, the son of Super Saver made good at first asking when posting a four-length victory in going-away fashion over ‘good’ going.
Sent to the graded stakes ranks second time out, the Kentucky-bred was a distant runner-up to the exciting Authentic in the Sham (G3) on January 2
at Santa Anita. He now boasts 14 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby following his first stakes victory.
Azul Coast was bred in the Bluegrass State by SF Bloodstock and was sold twice at auction. The colt was a $150,000 weanling buy at 2017 Keeneland November, prior to attracting a final bid of $320,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
He is out of the Sky Mesa mare Sky Treasure, winner of the 2015 Nassau (G2) at Woodbine. This is the same female line as two-time Canadian Champion Bold Ruritana.
The Bob Baffert trainee has never run a poor race in his lifetime and remains an intriguing prospect on the Triple Crown Trail. He proved his ability to overcome adversity when coming out on top over a synthetic surface, and the March foal also has substantial room to improve with just a trio of races to his credit.
Azul Coast will need to vault forward in his upcoming races to establish himself as a contender at Churchill Downs on May 2. The colt is in expert hands with Baffert, and his inbreeding to A.P. Indy will aid him as the distances increase throughout the season.
The $700,000 Sunland Derby (G3) at Sunland Park on March 22 could be the next stop for Azul Coast.
(Photo Credit: Vassar Photography / Shane Micheli)