02/27/2014 12:53PM

Ria Antonia headed to Baffert to prepare for Santa Anita Oaks

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Tom Keyser
The 3-year-old filly Ria Antonia is being transferred to trainer Bob Baffert's care in California.

Ria Antonia, who was placed first via disqualification in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and finished fourth last weekend in the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds in her 3-year-old debut, is being transferred from trainer Jeremiah Englehart to trainer Bob Baffert in California, principal owner Ron Paolucci said Thursday.

Ria Antonia was moved Thursday from Englehart’s small string at Fair Grounds – which he set up strictly because of Ria Antonia – to trainer Jonas Gibson, who trains for Paolucci. But the filly will stay with Gibson only long enough for Paolucci to find a flight to California.

“I don’t know yet when she’ll go. Shipping is very tight right now,” Paolucci said. “I might have to just charter a flight. As soon as she can get there, she will. She likes that track.”

Ria Antonia will make her next start in the April 4 Santa Anita Oaks, a plan that was revealed by Englehart on Tuesday. Englehart, however, declined Paolucci’s request to ship Ria Antonia from Fair Grounds to Santa Anita several weeks in advance of the Santa Anita Oaks and oversee her training from across the country. Englehart trains about 50 horses split between Belmont Park and upstate New York. The handful of horses he shipped to New Orleans with assistant trainer Elizabeth Dobles in December focused on Ria Antonia.

“Really, it wasn’t that hard of a decision,” said Englehart. “I don’t treat any horse above another.

“I’m so glad we won the Breeders’ Cup - it was a great experience - but I always knew in the back of my mind this could happen,” he said.

Paolucci said just after the Juvenile Fillies that he wanted to run Ria Antonia in the Kentucky Derby, and when she came to Fair Grounds, it was with the reported intent of making her 2014 debut against males in the Risen Star Stakes. That plan was changed in January, and Ria Antonia could only finish fourth, beaten about 14 lengths by romping winner Untapable in the Rachel Alexandra on Feb. 22. Englehart said before the race that he thought Ria Antonia wasn’t fit to show her best in the Rachel Alexandra and would move forward off the race.

“I was absolutely disappointed, but I wasn’t disappointed in the way [Englehart] trained her. I was just disappointed in the way she ran,” Paolucci said. “The second work before the race, I could tell she didn’t have her legs under her yet.”

Englehart said he no longer is training the four other horses he had for Paolucci. Three Fair Grounds-based horses have gone to Gibson.

– additional reporting by David Grening

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the winner of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes, it was Untapable, not Tapiture.

ctgreyhound More than 1 year ago
This know-it-all owner is going to find out how much he doesn't know at the expense of his filly. He has inflated aspirations for her, not based in reality. Sending her to CA could be beneficial, but there are a bevy of competent trainers other than Baffert to choose from.
Brian Gaskill More than 1 year ago
the best advertisement of all time for exchange wagering was this filly being 2-1 the other day. I would have layed 5-2 until my account was dry. like she had a chance
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
Paolucci you havehad your 15 min of fame now please go back under your rock and stay there.....last word on this subject...the dunce is trying to stay relevant
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
no good deed goes unpunished
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
First off, I don't belive this filly is the goods. Second, was it not Englehart who squeezed water out of a rock when Ria won the BC Juvy Fillies?......in return she gets shipped to the Quarter horse man and his bullet work outs. I give her 6 months and she is either sidelined with a training injury, or is retired. Sorry folks. I give Bob respect for hispast achievements, but no way am I a fan of his. I will stick to the horseman I respect like Roger Attfield, Chad Brown, Graham Motion and the Richard Mandella's of the racing world in N/A. I still wish the GReat Bobby Frankel was still alive....a great man and horseman.
ShyainC More than 1 year ago
yes i agree hes too high off of a BC win off disqualification and that the filly should stay with englehart baffert runs through horses too quickly
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I hope she wins the oaks. Just for the haters
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Who put the foundation under her?....not Bob. Not to mention I will be SHOCKED if this filly wins another G1 again....
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
Paolucci is as green as grass and really other than Ria whats he come up with ...so take your your green a ss grass self and mosey on over to bafferts barn...you will get stroked by his assistant jim barnes (that's whos going to train your horse pal)...I honestly wish you a lot of luck because the filly is all class and game..neither of which you are.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Love the comment, but disagree on the filly's ability. Cheers.
RICKY More than 1 year ago
If you want a horse to get the training it needs to compete at a high level , then Bafferts your guy. Regardless of all the so called numbers in horses breaking down. Its a sport, athletes break down when pushed to the limit. If they(owners) care about the horse and dont want them hurt,keep them in the shed and take them out at fairs for the kiddies to have pony rides. breeding is the problem. everyone is trying to create that ferrari no one has yet.
Nick Petro More than 1 year ago
u couldn't be more wrong on every point you attempted to make
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
So Called Numbers?....oh those are REAL numbers there Ricky. Live flesh and blood breaking down, or dropping dead in the Baffert barn.
RICKY More than 1 year ago
thats your useless opinion i didnt need.
Matthew Ellis More than 1 year ago
This ownership was DELUSIONAL the second after the Breeders Cup victory. When they started talking KD I thought I heard things wrong or were joking. This is not going to end well with this horse. Their over evaluation and unreal expectation lead to the barn switch to the trainer of Silver Charm. (IMO) Ria Antonia is no where near the class of such horses. This was an overachieving filly- I understand we really don't know her class yet but based on races, workouts, and Pedigree She is very fortunate to win what she has. The Oaks will show if she fits with this level.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
I think the Rachel Alexandra some what tipped the hand...
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Is it me or is Baffert really that much of an unpopular trainer? Is really that crappy? Also, I paid to read the articles behind "the pay wall". Not a single comment was to be found on the articles of interest to me. But here outside the pay wall, all is well! :-) Am I the only one who paid to take a peek behind the wall?
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
You and about half a dozen others paid. That should keep the DRF writers in donuts for about a week.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
I am going to die laughing.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
Hello Horse Cents, I get the + because of PPs, call me stubborn, but I want my DRF PPs, (even without bsf's) There isn't much talk "behind the wall", I don't understand, there is plenty of traffic here, can't they come up with something creative for sales, right here? The traffic is here, like a % off PPs or something? I use to lovingly refer to the DRF as the Bible, capital "B", now, it's just not the same, I smh every morning at my local wawa when I pick up what look's like the National Enquirer, posing as the drf :(
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
I'm old school and loved my racing form as well. But, because of the changes and moronic marketing plan, I refuse to give them a dime. Something creative you say? They're using the idiots guide to marketing, raise prices, place restrictions, and lower quality. They don't have a clue how to make money. The first proof of that is downloading the PP's and printing costs more than the already too high cost of the new piece of crap paper book. Lower the cost per track would increase volume sales and bring more people to the site. But what do I know. Raise prices, lower quality, piss everyone off, and chase new and old people from the site. Perfect marketing. I bet with twinspires and get brisnet pp's free now. Their genius marketing plan worked perfectly.
Hail No More than 1 year ago
You're 100% correct, The band has stopped playing, the Titanic is going down. It's like mourning a family member that has passed...I am probably going to Bris full time, too, they send me offers every other day, they actually want my biz.
ghost2_ More than 1 year ago
A lot of people just don't like successful trainers and are so dissatisfied with their own lives that it makes them feel big to snipe at those who are successful. Their anonymity makes them faux-brave. As for the pay wall, do you think you got your money's worth? I don't know anyone else who's paid, so you're the only person I can ask
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
I like successfull trainers...They don't include Baffert, Pletcher, or R.Dutrow. One down, two to go.
Suzanne Sugarbaker More than 1 year ago
I just keep a current PP subscription going with DRF; that's enough to get you "behind the paid curtain."
noalaistoday More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't pay DRF a nickel. Pure greed on their part. Anyone who doesn't think Baffert is an outstanding trainer has no knowledge at all. Also, training is a team effort. He is the Coach/Manager and good coaches get good players to perform at their best, equine and human.