09/22/2012 2:00PM

Juddmonte to race small stable in California; Baffert to train

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ARCADIA, Calif. – Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms will return to California racing in 2013 after joining with Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to buy a small group of yearlings at Keeneland earlier this month.

Baffert, working with Juddmonte officials, selected three yearlings at Keeneland that will be based in California next year.

Baffert’s Juddmonte horses will represent the first regular presence for Juddmonte since Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott had a small team of horses at Santa Anita for Juddmonte in early 2010.

Garrett O’Rourke, Juddmonte’s farm manager in Lexington, Ky., said more horses could be sent to Baffert in California depending on how yearlings are allotted to the farm’s various trainers in the United States and Europe. Juddmonte also has horses on the East Coast with Bill Mott.

A decision on who trains the yearlings will be made in November in conjunction with Abdullah, O’Rourke said.

“We won’t go in with a big stable,” O’Rourke said. “Initially, we’ll see how it goes.”

O’Rourke said that Baffert helped to select the yearlings that he will train. The group includes an Elusive Quality colt purchased for $525,000, a Curlin colt bought for $300,000, and a Tapit filly bought for $280,000.

The Elusive Quality colt is out of Xtra Heat, the 25-time stakes winner.

Juddmonte is best known in the United States for its long association with the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, who died in 2009.

With Frankel, Juddmonte won Grade 1 races with Aptitude, Beat Hollow, Cacique, Chester House, Exbourne, Expelled, First Defense, Flute, Heat Haze, Marquetry, Midships, Mizzen Mast, Quest for Fame, Raintrap, Sightseek, Skimming and Tinners Way.

This year in Europe, Juddmonte races the unbeaten 4-year-old Frankel, considered one of history’s finest turf milers.

Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
It'll be nice to get some higher quality horses out here (although Xtra Heat specifically has had some trouble getting her foals to the races; we'll see how that colt does).
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
(correction; she does get foals to the races but then they aren't able to make many starts. Which is odd, because she was sound. Her first, Southwestern Heat, by the great sire Gone West, has been the only one to have a reasonably long career, and as far as I can tell her last couple of foals haven't actually broken their maiden. So good luck to this guy, anyway).
Alex More than 1 year ago
Fact is since Bobby Frankel died, Juddmonte has had pretty disappointing results here in the states..
stevejPS More than 1 year ago
So my bet is the Elusive Quality colt will have been retired to stud by this time in 2014
Steve More than 1 year ago
maiden claiming 32k
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
That means he would have had shown great promise on the racetrack and would definitely sell for more than the $525k purchase price to a farm. Bob Baffert and Juddmonte would thank you in advance for such nice blessing. In this game, an owner could spend $12mil total on 100 yearlings (varying in prices from $50k to $1mil each) and still not be able to end up with a Bodemeister or Paynter. Bob Baffert came up with both for one owner within the same year. That's why he's the man.
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
Ill Say 2015 (Real Long Carrer)-loluck-DS
LESLIE More than 1 year ago
Possibly, also x-tra heat has produced some good runners. It might well be worth following this offspring.
Bwell More than 1 year ago
Forgot Ventura! Inexcusable.
Steve More than 1 year ago
no Honest Lady either.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Obviously it was not a complete list. The most glaring omission should be Empire Maker. Ventura was a nice filly/mare but they did not think highly enough of her to try Goldikova in the BC Mile. It worked out horribly as Informed Decision ran away in the F&M Sprint just the same, and longshot Courageous Cat finished second in the Mile. One would think that Ventura would have a great chance to outfinish the then 3yo Courageous Cat. Other notables left out: Intercontinental, Beat Hollow, Senure, Tates Creek, Flute (the exciting 3yo with much unfinished business), and my recent favorite Champ Elysees (cause he's always severely overbet and rarely won).
KeenelandCapper More than 1 year ago
beat hollow is second name on list