04/22/2012 3:00PM

2012 Kentucky Derby: Baffert wants to see how Liaison trains at Churchill

Benoit & Associates
Liaison will ship to Churchill Downs on Monday. Trainer Bob Baffert will see how the 3-year-old trains on the track before making a decision on whether to run in the Kentucky Derby.

ARCADIA, Calif.- Liaison, the winner of the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park last December but winless in three starts this year, will be sent to Churchill Downs on Monday, moving closer to a potential start in the Kentucky Derby on May 5.

“I want to take him over there and train him on the track,” trainer Bob Baffert said at his stable on the Santa Anita backstretch.

“A lot of horses move up when they get out of here.”

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Liaison has won 3 of 7 starts and $487,560, giving him sufficient earnings in graded stakes to secure a berth in the field.

This year, Liaison has struggled in three starts at Santa Anita.

Liaison unseated jockey Rafael Bejarano in the stretch of the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes in February, finished fourth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March and was sixth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

After the Santa Anita Derby, Baffert said a decision on whether Liaison will start in the Kentucky Derby would be made closer to the race. Last Wednesday, Liaison worked six furlongs in 1:13 at Hollywood Park.

Panama Stallion More than 1 year ago
This is all a sham; he can walk this workout and Mr. Baffert will say "I saw a gleam in his eyes as he pulled up and threw his jockey that made me realize that he does want to run. Too bad this is not what Liaison wants.
James P More than 1 year ago
Mine That Bird won the Derby. That's all you really need to know. If you have a horse that has flashed talent and has qualified, then go for it (unless he's an obvious speedball like Trinniberg). If I owned Liason, I'd want him to at least ship and train in Louisville and see what happens. Hero Of Order won the Louisiana Derby at a zillion to one. Strange things happen with these three year olds.
Jerry Sabo More than 1 year ago
Trainers like Baffert and Pletcher ruin more horses than they develop. Butchers
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
Remember when Baffert won the Derby with War Emblem? He entered another horse in the Derby but never intended to run it. He admitted he just wanted to keep a horse out because the least horses running against War Emblem the better. He won with War Emblem after scratching the other horse.
James P More than 1 year ago
Part of the reason the new also-eligible list is a good idea.
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
That would hold true normally, but in the Derby there is advance wagering the day before. The also eligibles would have to be scratched before betting started the day before and there would be plenty of time to late scratch a horse after the also eligibles were scratched. The point could be argued that permission from the stewards might have to be obtained but these days do you think the stewards would refuse? People could frown on Baffert for doing it but they made a fuss last time and he didn't care, and once War Emblem won not another negative word was said about it.
James P More than 1 year ago
Those are all good points, though I would dispute your last sentence. People, including yourself, frown on the move Baffert made with the late scratch. Though you could argue it was good gamesmanship. I forget the name of the horse he scratched (that's some good trivia), as well as the horse he kept out of the Derby. I want to say the horse that didn't make the gate was Unshaded, who would go onto win the Travers that year. Or maybe it was Dynever. I forget.
Kingo Gondo More than 1 year ago
Given the very real possibility of a hot pace, and thus a race that could fall apart, He should run unless he's just not right or "hates the track".
Peter May More than 1 year ago
A better chance? Liason or Isn't he Clever (who would get into the Derby if Liason doesn't go)? I'm still kinda in love with Isn't he Clever's Sunland Derby run. Freak race? Maybe. But Bode made everyone look stupid in Arkansas, so I kinda wanna see Clever get another run... now with Asmussen as his trainer
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
There were two dueling front runners in the Sunland Derby. I know there will be speed in the KD but I would like to see a closer that ran against the grain, then when they back up it will be all the better. But I will give all the closers a look for the bottom end of the exotics. Throwing all the speed out
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
although im not playing him he has every right to be there,if hes got the earnings and was nominated that means he earned his way in, at 487 570 dolars hes more than earned his way in,if we eliminated from the derby starting gate every horse people felt didnt belong every year half the winers would have been eliminated,and the field would have been of about 4 or 5 horses,i can think of charismatic,mine that bird,giacomo,cannonero,thunder gultch,proud clarion,and many others who people felt didnt get the dist or were not good enough etc,and this nonsense goes all the way back one of the longest shots was 91/1 donerail in 1913,so lets get real,liason is not nearly as hopeless as some would like.
Jim More than 1 year ago
Exactly right. Well said. Horse racing is a business sport, just like football/basketball, just like a low seed in tournament knocking off a top seed, they "earned" their way in.
Roger More than 1 year ago
I thought he thought Bodemeister was a lock?
Mark Ford More than 1 year ago
More horses I can toss out the better. Go get it dead money.
Nick Gunritz More than 1 year ago
Last I checked the race is restricted to thoroughbreds. Although I agree he has no chance and shouldn't be in the race.