08/19/2011 1:33PM

Prayer for Relief

Jack Coady/Coady Photography  
Date Track Race Finish Chart Distance Time Beyers Video
8/06/11 MNR West Virgina Derby 1st 1 1/16 mile 1:50:60 98 Video
6/25/11 PRM Iowa Derby 1st 1 mile 1:41:60 96 Video
11/06/10 HOL Real Quiet 2nd 1 mile 1:43:40 84 Video

Prayer for Relief


Owner: Zayat Stables, LLC
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Record: 7-4-1-0



By Marcus Hersh


Three stages to this colt's career. The first one was not so hot, and he required a drop to maiden claiming to notch first victory. The second one came when he was stretched out to routes and improved significantly, the third when Baffert moved him to dirt, and his form took another leap forward. So here we are, with two good wins in a row, the last, in the West Virginia Derby, in his first try as far as nine furlongs, and given the three-tier career arc and the fact that he's made but two starts on dirt, there may yet be room to improve. Has tactical speed and seems to finish pretty well.


Is he good enough? To answer "yes," you have to do some projecting, since he has never beaten a horse as good as the best he faces in this high-profile race. In West Virginia he did race wide, but just a half-length behind him in second was Rush Now, a solid listed- or Grade 3-type performer, but not much more than that. His pedigree also is not one that leaps out as strongly hinting at 1 1/4-mile success.


Stablemate Coil will be one of the big guns here, and this would not be the first time (nor the 20th, for that matter) that the longer price among two uncoupled Baffert starters in the same race surprised the betting public. Will generally be overlooked, and probably has a chance to outrun his odds.