04/18/2016 1:06PM

Baffert removes Cupid from Kentucky Derby trail

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Barbara D. Livingston
Trainer Bob Baffert ruled out the Kentucky Derby for Cupid after the colt's 10th-place finish in the Arkansas Derby.

The scoreboard watching as to who’s in and who’s out for the Kentucky Derby on May 7 at Churchill Downs began in earnest on Monday and produced the first significant development when Cupid, who finished 10th as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby, was ruled out of the race by trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert said Cupid emerged from the Arkansas Derby with an entrapped epiglottis and was to have surgery Monday at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

Cupid had earned 50 points when winning the Rebel Stakes in his prior start, which put him squarely in the top 20 on the points list compiled by Churchill Downs to determine the maximum 20-horse field for the Derby. His defection puts Mo Tom into the top 20, and now Fellowship is on the bubble, ranked 21st.

Cupid flew to Kentucky on Monday on the same plane with Creator, the Arkansas Derby winner, and Whitmore, who finished third in the Arkansas Derby. But while Creator and Whitmore went straight to Churchill Downs to begin preparation for the Derby, Cupid went to Rood and Riddle.

Baffert said Cupid would head to Churchill Downs later this week and be based there for the time being. Baffert is sending a number of horses to Churchill Downs later this week for upcoming races at Churchill Downs. Baffert said if Cupid recovers quickly from the surgery, he would be pointed to the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, at Pimlico on May 21.

Baffert said Mor Spirit, who is now his lone Derby prospect, will fly to Kentucky on Friday and head straight to Churchill Downs. He said Mor Spirit would not work at Santa Anita this week and would work next at Churchill Downs.

Baffert is a four-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and swept the Triple Crown a year ago with American Pharoah.

The Arkansas Derby was the last of the 34 races in which horses could earn points toward a berth in the Derby. Creator and Suddenbreakingnews, the one-two finishers in the race, earned enough points to vault into the top 20 and make the Derby field.

Dazzling Gem, who finished fourth, is now 24th on the list with 30 points. Immediately above him are Fellowship, Adventist, and Laoban, all of whom have 32 points. Mo Tom also has 32 points but is ranked above Fellowship, Adventist, and Laoban owing to the tiebreaker, earnings in unrestricted stakes races.

Also on Saturday was the Lexington Stakes, which Baffert won with Collected, who is well down the points list with 21 and is not a serious Derby prospect “unless the race falls apart,” Baffert said.

Creator got a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 in the Arkansas Derby. Collected got a 90.

At Churchill Downs on Monday, Gun Runner, the Louisiana Derby winner, worked five furlongs in 1:00, which tied for the fastest work of the morning at the distance. Gun Runner, a son of Candy Ride, is trained by Steve Asmussen, who also trains Creator, who is by Tapit.

“They’re two extremely talented individuals with great conformation and huge pedigrees,” Asmussen said on Saturday, minutes after the Arkansas Derby.

Also on Monday, Mohaymen, who suffered his first loss to Derby favorite Nyquist last time out in the Florida Derby, galloped after arriving on Sunday from Florida.

–additional reporting by Marcus Hersh and Nicole Russo

Aero Palo Eduardo More than 1 year ago
I think NYQUIST will win the Derby. He won very easily the Florida Derby, with plenty left in the tank. He's got tactical speed and that will help him to settle in a good position in the early stages.
Jim More than 1 year ago
Hey Pat Lyons the worst racing fan is a REDBOARDER. Also I think that when you make a statement like "we will have another triple crown winner in the next two years" most of us can figure out that that means this year or next year. Even without a calculator!
Pat Lyons More than 1 year ago
Remember when i said after American Pharoah retired,  we would have another Triple Crown winner within the next two years that means this year or next year we will have a Triple Crown winner I guarantee it #worldFamousPatLyons style baby  #ImCoolLikeThat  ... you don't take a Triple Crown horse out of action and retired him the people have waited far too long to see a horse race more than 2 years oh and by the way I crushed American pharoah in the derby the Preakness and the Belmont all three races boom I predicted he would win as well
ed More than 1 year ago
Thank you captain obvious. No way a TC winner this year. AP was really much the best last year. Even Stevie Wonder saw that and bet him. This year, you can make more if Nyquist doesn't win and you got  the right horse. Let's see how cool you are this time. I'm thinking you might be cold this time.
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
Another person( elsewhere in cyberland) just said something similar, like "it was obvious he was going to be the TC winner..." .
How difficult, to predict the past.
Great talent!
John More than 1 year ago
Mor Spirit is going to be dangerous .
Gary Stevens has been high on this horse all along and his last race in the mud, Stevens said he was slipping all over and he still got up under very little urging for 2nd .

George Cherian More than 1 year ago
Tod Plecher sends lots of horses to KY derby but his success rate is very bad ascompared to Bob Baffert who sends only selected few

Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
And Carl Nafzger is even better ;-)
JasmineTedesco More than 1 year ago
Not on numbers he's not. Not even close.
Joey Dekarski More than 1 year ago
MO TOMS IN WOOHOOO ,he s going by them all in the stretch can t wait ,I m hopeful he ll have a better jockey this time around.
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
They are sticking with Cory.

You would think he won't screw up a 3rd time??
Jerry Mann More than 1 year ago
please......what a dud...
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
I am certain you would be happy with a "dud" like Mohaymen.
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
I thinking a horse like Giacomo, one of the greatest horses in history impo, would be perfect for this field.

Vince P

JasmineTedesco More than 1 year ago
Giacomo, one of the greatest horses in history? He of the single GI win, only two graded stakes wins lifetime, and no stakes wins after his Derby-thank-God-it-Fell-Apart life and deather?

God you're a funny guy Vinny.
mike More than 1 year ago
Yeah,he's funny,considering he's probably spent a career getting laughed at.
mike More than 1 year ago
Stupid,disrespectful comment-typical of a big mouth New Yorker!
thhammer More than 1 year ago
Giacomo, one of the greats?  Aren't you over looking Lil E T?
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
History repeats itself.  "The factor" trained by baffert, wins the rebel stakes and fades in the arkansas derby.  Needs the same surgery.  Do the meds/peds copy the same outcome at the same time of year ?   Calling dr. Arthur
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
haters gotta hate hate hate.
Have another pint of haterade.
History repeats itself for sure.
If Baffert or Pletcher have a horse sidelined all the haters come out of the wood work.
Whats that beside your haterade...looks like a tall glass of WHINE!!!

Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
I hate abuse and heart attacks.  Look in the mirror and look at what you wrote
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
oh Please...
trying to be relevant is not your strong suit
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Why do you support heart attacks ?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the article was about Cupid...not Stupid...so please shut up.
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
Why does he support 7 dead horses, Mayor Marv and Diamond Fury, to name a few ... ask him where Cupid's 1/2 brother, Indianapolis is now.
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
Cupid certainly ran like anyone who looks at his pedigree objectively would expect him to run. I'm with you on old Hoppity-Hop - he and one of his big owners even had the audacity to name a horse after the practice. (I know, they have since explained, with WAY too much detail, how it was about someone's pregnancy ... Riiiiiiiii -ght!
JasmineTedesco More than 1 year ago
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data". Get a grip man. In this delusional tranny world there are still a few spots where reality rules, and racing is one of them.