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  • Vindication was an American Thoroughbred Champion racehorse. Bred by Payson Stud Inc., he was sired by 1977 U.S. Triple Crown Champion Seattle Slew. Out of the mare Strawberry Reason, Vindication's damsire was Strawberry Road, the international star who raced in Australia, Germany, France, Japan, and the United States, and was voted the 1983 Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year and 1984 Champion Older Horse in Germany. Vindication was purchased for $2.15 million at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale by Satish Sanan's Padua Stables of Ocala, Florida, who handed him over to trainer Bob Baffert for race conditioning. Sent to the track at age two, Vindication won his first two races at Del Mar Racetrack in California. Then, on September 14 at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky, he captured the Grade III Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes by six lengths. He was then sent to Chicago's Arlington Park for the 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Though the race was normally run at a distance of 11/16 miles, the track setup at Arlington Park meant that year's Juvenile was raced at 1⅛ miles.

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