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Baffert could have three Kentucky Derby starters
ARCADIA, Calif. – Both Dortmund and One Lucky Dane, the top two finishers from the Santa Anita Derby, came out of the race well, and both are set to move on to the Kentucky Derby on May 2, giving trainer Bob Baffert, who also trains American Pharoah, three potential starters in the Derby.
In addition, both third-place finisher Bolo and fourth-place finisher Prospect Park are under consideration for the Kentucky Derby, so the top four from the Santa Anita Derby could run in Kentucky, provided – in the cases of Bolo and Prospect Park – they have sufficient points. Both have 30, currently putting them on either side of the bubble of the 20-horse field.
The Santa Anita Derby was one of three Kentucky Derby preps run on Saturday that offered 170 points overall, including 100 to the winner. At Aqueduct, Frosted put himself back in the Derby picture with a sharp victory in the Wood Memorial, while at Keeneland, Carpe Diem continued his march toward Churchill Downs with a win in the Blue Grass.
Dortmund earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 106, Frosted 103, and Carpe Diem 95.
Dortmund lost his right front shoe at the start of the race, but he did not grab himself nor suffer any other minor injury in the incident, Baffert said.
One Lucky Dane had a sore eye after the race after being hit by a dirt clod, Baffert theorized, but assistant Jim Barnes reported that the eye was much better Sunday morning.
“He looked like he was in the ring with [Manny] Pacquiao,” Baffert said.
Baffert said he instructed jockey Rafael Bejarano on One Lucky Dane not to engage Dortmund too soon, “or he’ll bury you.”
One Lucky Dane earned 40 points for the finish, which gets him into the Derby field.
Baffert thinks both will relish 1 1/4 miles.
“The distance is not a problem at all,” Baffert said.
Baffert’s third likely Derby starter, American Pharoah, is scheduled for his final Derby prep on Saturday in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. American Pharoah already has sufficient points to make the Derby field, but even if he wins, the second-place finisher in that race will earn 40 points, impacting the points list for Bolo and Prospect Park.
Bolo will remain under consideration for the Kentucky Derby, trainer Carla Gaines said.
“It’ll be up to the owners to make the decision,” Gaines said.
Gaines was impressed with Dortmund, whom Bolo has unsuccessfully chased in both the Santa Anita Derby and San Felipe.
“We had an uncomfortable trip, a wide trip, but it didn’t matter. We weren’t going to beat that horse if we went around again,” Gaines said.
Gaines said she believes Bolo “is actually better on grass.”
“He has a different way of going on grass,” she said.
Prospect Park picked the wrong day to have a bad day, trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said. He said Prospect Park was fine Saturday morning when he jogged, but was “too quiet” the rest of the day and then didn’t perform to expectations in the afternoon.
“When he jogged, he acted like a million dollars,” Sise said. “But later he was quiet in his stall. His temperature was okay. But something was awry. You just have to toss the race out.”
Sise said Prospect Park sustained a few minor leg lacerations during the race. Prospect Park left Santa Anita on Sunday for San Luis Rey Downs, where Sise is based.
Sise said “the plan is still to go” to Churchill Downs.
“Marty,” he said, referring to owner-breeder Marty Wygod, “said to head back, but only if he’s 100 percent would we run him.
“If we don’t get into the Derby on points, we could still run in the Pat Day Mile,” Sise said, referring to the former Derby Trial, now run on Derby Day.
At the Wood, Frosted responded to a change in tactics, change in rider, an adjustment in the blinkers he uses, and minor throat surgery to bounce back from the Fountain of Youth, in which he finished fourth after appearing the winner with a quarter-mile remaining.
“I think our team earned our pay,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who is ably assisted by his brother Neal and sister-in-law Trish. “It was a great team effort.”
McLaughlin said he is still figuring out shipping plans for Frosted. He indicated he would get the horse to Kentucky in time for at least one and possibly both of his pre-Derby workouts.
Both Tencendur, who was second, and El Kabeir, who was third, also are under consideration for the Derby.
At the Blue Grass, Carpe Diem won for the fourth time in five starts. Danzig Moon, who was second, is likely for the Derby, third-place Ocho Ocho Ocho is possible, and fourth-place Frammento would run if he can get in on points, according to trainer Nick Zito. Frammento has 20 points.
– additional reporting by David Grening and Marty McGee
And unlike Todd Pletcher, if Baffert enters two or more he could very well complete the exacta!
Best derby field in years is shaping up..there's speed that carries not crazy sprinter speed. there's durability and consistency. there's brilliance. there's courage. There's mystery. From DORTMUND and AMERICAN PHAROAH to UPSTART,INTERNATIONAL STAR,CARPE DIEM to MUBTAAHIJ and FROSTED there's a angle for every handicapper to latch on to.
All 3 of Pumpkin Heads horses will be off the board in Ky!!
Looks like the derby winner ships in from California AGAIN.....I know Baffert thinks the Pharaoh is the better of the 2 but I don't think so.The big gigantic Big Brown colt is a force to be reckoned with. I tried to beat this colt and lost every time. He's a super star.
A preview.....I am all in this race.
I am looking at a horse from off the pace at a very good price to pull off the upset...there are clearly 5-6 horses that run up front or just off the pace making it very tough for any horse to take it gate to wire, unless post position hinder a couple of them... Right now I am going with International Star based on his style and inside toughness...Frosted is interesting after his Wood win, but, not sure if he just likes the NY tracks to explain his success....
I just don't see how there's not going to be a major pace breakdown in this race. Too many pace-setters and stalkers here. At least 1-2 horses will go out too fast, and some others will follow. 2-3 of these types (Dortmund, Firing Line and Materiality come to mind first) seem to have the cruising speed plus the determined grit down the lane to hang on but I think the exotics will have huuuuge prices as the closers will be coming fast.
It will be interesting to see who Velazquez will ride?
Originally I thought Dortmund was the closer and American Pharoah was the one who went out fast but closer examination reveals the opposite thus far. The Arkansas Derby might not reveal much as the list of horses looks like American Pharoah will not be challenged. We know Big Brown's son shows grit and digs deep but we will have to see if AP will also. Carpe Diem has not been challenged this year but we saw Materiality and Upstart give it their all. International Star seems a cut below on talent but he also seems the best able to handle the traffic and can be counted on to plunge through an opening on the rail if there is one. Then we have the reborn Frosted who acts like a different animal than we saw in the FOY. How can El Kabeir or Firing Line be downgraded when all they do is fight to the finish. Then the unknown quantity Mubtaahij ("Happy" in Arabic.) - He can't adjust although he's already gone from England to the desert. The experts say he could not be as good as he looked. He did not change leads, his opposition was nothing - a son of Tapit from Japan, an Uruguayan Triple Crown winner, a son of Hard Spun, four year olds and he has won at 1/ 3/16ths twice as if he were just getting started. That is not even mentioning Bolo, Prospect Park, Tencendur, Stanford and others. This year's Derby could be the best in decades.
I dont like AP. Dortmund might be the real deal.