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2012 Kentucky Derby: Liaison may join I'll Have Another, Creative Cause in Louisville
ARCADIA, Calif. - As many as three runners from Saturday’s $750,000 Santa Anita Derby are candidates for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5.
Trainer Bob Baffert still has Kentucky Derby hopes for Liaison, who finished sixth, but has sufficient graded stakes earnings to be assured a spot in the field. The Kentucky Derby field is determined by graded stakes earnings, if the race draws more than 20 entrants.
I’ll Have Another entered the Santa Anita Derby outside of the top 20, with $151,000 in graded stakes earnings. He earned $450,000 for the win on Saturday and is guaranteed a spot in the race. He was awarded a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.
Sunday morning, trainer Doug O’Neill said that I’ll Have Another recovered quickly from the Santa Anita Derby, the colt’s third win in five career starts for owners Paul and Zillah Reddam. I’ll Have Another earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 94.
“His legs are ice cold,” O’Neill said. “He jogged 100 percent sound.
That’s a good way to start the day, when you see that.”
O’Neill said I’ll Have Another’s race did nothing to interrupt the colt’s appetite.
“The only thing that would be a concern is if he left any grain,” O’Neill said. “He eats like me.”
I’ll Have Another was ridden by Mario Gutierrez, a 25-year-old native of Mexico. Gutierrez had I’ll Have Another close to the pace throughout and fought through the stretch with Creative Cause to prevail in the race over 1 1/8 miles.
The result of the Santa Anita Derby proved the form of the track’s two major prep races. I’ll Have Another won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes in a 43-1 upset in February. Creative Cause won the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March.
Creative Cause, ridden by Joel Rosario, was as far back as sixth in the first half-mile, saved ground for much of the race, and finished a half-length in front of the third-place finisher, the 42-1 pacesetter Blueskiesnrainbow.
“I think it was probably the best race he’s run,” trainer Mike Harrington said of Creative Cause. “Joel said if he’d been outside, he could have won,” he said.
Harrington said that he would “probably” start Creative Cause without blinkers in the Kentucky Derby. The colt did not wear them in the Santa Anita Derby, for the first time in his eight-race career.
Creative Cause will stay in California until April 28. The colt will have his last major workout at Harrington’s Hollywood Park base before traveling to Kentucky, and will have a minor workout in the days before the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the trainer said.
Liaison was always toward the back of the field and finished 9 1/4 lengths behind I’ll Have Another as a 6-1 shot. The winner of the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park last December, Liaison had an unsuccessful winter-spring meeting at Santa Anita.
The colt unseated jockey Rafael Bejarano after clipping heels in the Robert Lewis Stakes and finished fourth in the San Felipe Stakes.
“He came back like he didn’t run,” Baffert said. “He never liked this track. He’s had terrible trips.”
Baffert said that Liaison will ship to Churchill Downs but must train well to start in the Kentucky Derby.
“I’ll take him there and train him,” Baffert said. “I hope to see a real improvement.”
Pletcher & Baffert get most of the bluebloods, can see both dominating the TC races for next ten years. So Mike Smith takes daddy ns bst for yum brands ? What does he & Steve think, now the winners will come out of NM ? They have another curlin ? please ! lol.........cr cause & I'll have otro look like grinders, but won't get 50-1 giacomo
I like to get it from the horse's mouth...after one of Baffert's sponsors purchased a 2 million+ 2yo in training at Barretts, he commented about the purchase. He said the colt was a nice horse and Bob (buyer) just needs to win a grade one "to get out on him." That pretty much summed up today's training methodology to me. You just need to win one big one to "get out on the horse" I don't blame Baffert - he didn't create the atmosphere in racing today. The owners decide where a horse will run and who sits on its back. If trainers don't agree, then they have a way to "get out" on the horse too. The classic trainer's line of "Well find another barn for him" may not be sounded by many trainers today, but the business of the sport will dictate who is all business and who is still a sportsman. I really thought that Baffert dragged his rump to SA on Derby day to give his Blueskiesrainbows a little "pep talk", one might say, at 43 to 1. Who knows? I didn't. And even if I did know, I don't hear-tell those kinds of things - the odds might be lower, if ya' git me. But all's fair in love and war and racing to be first is no exception. Tell me, would you not bet a horse if you thought the trainer was a "butcher", especially at double figures on the board? Lead me not into temptation...
I can´t believe that Liaison is even being considered to run. Excuse me Mr. Baffert, but if he didn´t like the track it took you three races to find that out? Why didn´t you ship him out to another track and find out if his CashCall win was a fluke? This reeks of desperation in trying to get to the Derby and in the process ruining a good horse´s future for some instant moment of personal gratification. I am rooting for Bodemeister to win in Arkansas and Secret Circle to come in second. That way you will have 2 deserving horses in the Derby and give Liaison the regrouping he deserves. If Bodemeister doesn´t run well enough to get the graded earnings, I predict that Liaison will run in the Derby even if he practices one mile in 3 minutes. THIS is the reason why so many good horses are ruined pretty much before their careers even begin. Now watch Mr. Baffert run Liaison and win the Derby at odds of 50-1 and shut me up! Yeesh
Actually, I thought the horse who beat reveron (my pick in that race, arghh), was visually impressive, the way he came back on again from the inside after getting passed, but then I realize that he was ridden by Bo-rail, who has done that trick too many times to give the horse too much credit. Still, the colt was reaching out well at the finish, and he'll be ridden by borel, which has to be considered a positive in the Derby. I would say that if one could string together 3 distinctive positives for any of the contenders, it could well be good enough to find the winner. They have to be genuine race-specific positives involving the horse-of-interest, however, not just some vague belief. You have to KNOW (not believe) that 1, 2, and 3 are positive factors. If you get there, let me know right here. :)
Every single major contender has stepped backward so far, except perhaps creative cause, although he has yet to run really fast. A couple months ago I thought we were looking at a good class, but now it doesn't look good at all. If Bodemeister steps forward in Arkansas and runs a 100+ beyer he will become the favorite. Nobody can tell me that he's not baffert's first choice given the connection to his son. Throw in the mile and a quarter hurdle and all of a sudden it's 2005 all over again. Take a horse like liason. He could come alive in Kentucky and be a new hoss by the time the gates open. But where is the quality in this division? It's easy to say that Matz didn't have his hoss cranked up for the Florida Derby, but he's yet to run a fast race. Questions abound. I just don't see the quality jumping off the page. And hey, throw in a muddy track for the first saturday in may and all hells gunna break loose. Check out your mud breeding well in advance so you're prepared. Long live Go For Gin (whose mother was a mudder), the '94 champ ridden by McCarron, who had already won 3 times in the off going before the Derby. Back then the emphasis upon the "last race" was greater than it is today, accounting for his dismissal at 14-1 in spite of his obvious affinity for the goo. His mudder was a mudder I tell ya.
Can someone explain to me how I'll Have Another got a 94 Beyer winning the SA Derby and Gemologist got a 98 Beyer winning the Wood? I know there are certain things taken into effect other that actually clocking, but how many people really think the Wood was the stronger of the two? Admittedly I've been on the I'll Have Another bandwagon for months, but I still feel like he isn't getting the respect he deserves.
The graded stakes earnings list will determine who the most qualified is. CD needs to overhaul.
Please if this horse runs over some mote qualified runners tham it's a real joke. Give the horse a break and cut him back to one turn.
Really a 94 Beyer? What a joke.
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