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Sale-topping Azeri first foal wins on debut

THE Bob Baffert-trained Take Control, the first foal produced by horse of the year Azeri, made good on his racing debut over 1m at Santa Anita on Wednesday.

At $1.9 million, the son of A.P. Indy was the sale-topper at Keeneland's April breeze-up sale. He scored by one and a quarter lengths after drawing clear late in the straight as a 5-2 chance.

Bob Baffert - US Trainer

Bob Baffert: trains Take Control

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

"I didn't think he could win first time out but he really impressed me," said Baffert.

"He was green, but he settled well and he ovecrame a lot of trouble. That was a good one to get - now we've got our two-year-old start out of the way.

"He'll run all day, and we'll let him tell us what's next.

"But we're not going to ship out of town until March because the weather's terrible around the country."

Take Control is owned by Kaleem Shah, a newclient for Baffert and founder of Calnet, a Virginia-based communications company. 

Bred by the Allen Paulson Living Trust, Take Control was listed as a buy-back (by Michael Paulson) at $7.7m at the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Azeri retired to the breeding shed as the winner of 11 Grade 1 races and over $4m in earnings. The daughter of Jade Hunter was led out unsold at $4.4m at this year's Keeneland January Sale but was later sold in November in the same sale ring for $2.25m to Katsumi Yoshida.

Her yearling daughter by Giant's Causeway realised $800,000 at the Keeneland September Sale while her 2009 filly by Ghostzapper is slated to sell at next month's Keeneland January Sale.

 

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