Tag Archive | "Baffert"

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Hoppertunity out of Derby, could return in time for Preakness

Posted on 02 May 2014 by WNST Staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert is down to one horse for the Kentucky Derby after early 6-1 second choice Hoppertunity was scratched Thursday because of a sore left front foot.

The colt was to have been ridden Saturday by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith.

“Bad news travels fast,” Baffert said outside his barn, where onlookers gathered as word spread around Churchill Downs. “The horse is OK. He’s just not 100 percent and it’s too close to the race, so I pulled the plug.”

Baffert first noticed signs something wasn’t quite right on Wednesday, when Hoppertunity took a few steps. The inside quarter of his left foot was sore, so part of his shoe was cut off. As the colt walked to warm up, he didn’t appear bothered. But Baffert decided to scratch him anyway.

Hoppertunity will have a full scan Thursday to eliminate any other possible problems than a sore foot, which will be soaked.

In a bit of gallows humor, Baffert joked, “We missed a Hoppertunity.”

He said the colt could return in time for the Preakness on May 17.

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia revised the Derby morning line odds, although California Chrome remained the favorite at 5-2.

Wicked Strong, the colt named for the victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombings, replaced Hoppertunity as the early second choice at 6-1.

Arkansas Derby winner Danza and Intense Holiday were installed as the co-third choices at 8-1. Tapiture was made the fifth choice at 12-1.

The odds for Candy Boy were lowered to 15-1 from 20-1. Louisiana Derby winner Vicar’s In Trouble, to be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, dropped to 20-1 from 30-1.

Smith will still be busy on Derby day, ridding in seven of the 13 races on the card.

“I could still have a pretty good day,” he said. “I’d rather lose it this way than something happen on the track.”

The scratch moved also-eligible horse Pablo Del Monte into the maximum 20-horse field. However, the 50-1 shot would have to start from the No. 20 post position. It wasn’t immediately known if Pablo Del Monte’s owners want to start under that condition.

“It’s amazing to have the opportunity to run,” said Wesley Ward, who trains and co-owns the colt. “With my 25 percent there is nothing I’d love better, with a horse that I bred, than to run. But I have to go with what my partners want to do.”

The original plan for Pablo Del Monte, who was third in the Blue Grass, was to wait for the Preakness. His other owners are in Europe, and Ward expected to learn their decision later Thursday or early Friday.

Hoppertunity had drawn the No. 11 post. With his scratch, the other horses in the outside starting gate all moved up one spot. Blue Grass winner Dance With Fate will now break from the 11th spot.

Baffert has another horse in the race, 20-1 shot Chitu. That colt also has had foot problems and recently threw one of his shoes.

“I’ve had a lot of luck here,” said Baffert, a three-time Derby winner, “so I can’t really complain.”

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Rosario wins Black-Eyed Susan Stakes aboard Fiftyshadesofhay

Posted on 17 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Fiftyshadesofhay Gets Up To Win Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

 

BALTIMORE, 05-17-13 – Karl Watson, Michael E. Pegram & Paul Weitman’s Fiftyshadesofhay closed with a rush to claim a narrow victory in the 89th running of the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico Race Course.

Trained by Bob Baffert, the daughter of Pulpit rated off the pace under jockey Joel Rosario before launching an outside stretch run and reeling in Marathon Lady by a neck at the finish. Fiftyshadesofhay ran the 1 1/8-mile stakes for 3-year-old fillies in 1:52.73.  Toasting, who pressed the pace under Javier Castellano, finished third.

Emollient, the 4-5 favorite ridden by Mike Smith, had trouble leaving the starting gate and was never a serious factor during a sixth-place finish.

Fiftyshadesofhay broke her maiden at Hollywood Park last year and won the San Ysabel (G3) at Santa Anita in January. She most recently finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) on April 6.

Fiftyshadesofhay paid $6.60.

 

BLACK-EYED SUSAN STAKES QUOTES

Bob Baffert (trainer, Fiftyshadesofhay, winner) – “I wasn’t sure turning for home because I told Rosario that she usually runs 1-2-3, but ride her the way you feel you should ride her. Rosario sort of did his own thing today, but it was the right thing.”

 

Joel Rosario (jockey, Joel Rosario, winner) – “It was kind of a perfect trip, but she was kind of slowing a little bit from the dirt in her face. I got her on the outside and she looked like she was really comfortable. Right when I went past the three-eighths pole before turning for home, she kind of got away from me a little bit. I was kind of worried about it, but she was able to get it back together and she kept going. Bob (Baffert) told me, ‘She’s just one-paced, so keep her going.’ So I think it was a little bit better to keep her on the outside. When I passed the sixteenth-pole I could see that the horse in front of me was backing up a little. That’s when I felt better.

 

Steve Hobby (trainer, Marathon Lady, 2nd) – “She ran huge. She ran her tail off. She had a great trip. I don’t know what we could have done any different.

 

Robby Albarado (jockey, Marathon Lady, 2nd) – “I had a lot of horse under me the entire race. Something must have happened to Mike’s (Smith) filly (Emollient) in the gate, because I thought she’d be up front. I found myself lying third and very comfortable at every point. I thought I had it won until right before the wire.”

 

Javier Castellano (jockey, Toasting, 3rd) – “She was great today. They put the blinkers on her and she pulled me all the way. I’m happy with what she did against the best 3-year-olds in the country. She stepped up and showed us her class today.”

 

Bill Mott (trainer, Emollient, 6th)   “She had a pretty good stumble leaving the gate, which didn’t help. Obviously, she got back a little further and had to overcome that. It looked like to me she might have been fighting that racetrack. The main track may not be her best surface, so you might see her try the turf course next time.”

 

Mike Smith (jockey, Emollient, 6th) – “She stumbled out of the gate really bad, and she caught her leg. It was pretty much over for us after that.”

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