03/31/2014 1:22PM

Santa Anita Derby next for Hoppertunity, says Baffert

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Rebel winner Hoppertunity will try to give trainer Bob Baffert his seventh Santa Anita Derby victory.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Hoppertunity, the winner of the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 15, will be trainer Bob Baffert’s lone starter in Saturday’s $1 million Santa Anita Derby, he said on Monday.

Baffert, who has won the Santa Anita Derby a record six times, said he plans to run the unbeaten Bayern in the $1 million Arkansas Derby on April 12. He said plans are unclear for The Admiral, the winner of an allowance race at Santa Anita on March 16 who had been considered a Santa Anita Derby candidate.

Bayern and The Admiral have yet to start in a stakes. Bayern was scratched from the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 8 because of a bruised foot. Monday at Santa Anita, Bayern worked five furlongs in 1:00.80. Baffert said he timed Bayern in 1:14 for six furlongs.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

“He was just cruising around there,” Baffert said. “He was just breezing. He’ll have another work next week.”

Hoppertunity worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 at Santa Anita Sunday. He would be Baffert’s first winner of the Santa Anita Derby since Midnight Interlude in 2011.

Hoppertunity has won 2 of 4 starts and earned $410,720, all for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. A colt by Any Given Saturday, Hoppertunity was fourth in his stakes debut in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on Feb. 22, and rebounded to win the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn over 1 1/16 miles by a half-length.

Hoppertunity bumped with runner-up Tapiture in the stretch of the Rebel. After a stewards' inquiry and a jockey’s objection, the order of finish was not changed.

The Santa Anita Derby is expected to be led by the 2014 stakes winners California Chrome and Candy Boy. Other expected runners are Big Tire, Dublin Up, Friendswith K Mill, Rprettyboyfloyd, and Schoolofhardrocks.

California Chrome, the winner of the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes, is the likely favorite. Candy Boy won the Grade 2 Robert Lewis Stakes on Feb. 8.

Forego137 More than 1 year ago
IMO Calif. Chrome who will be pressured by Hoppertunity the whole way and Candy Boy will be in the cat bird seat, once they turn for home Stevens will swing out take control of the race and pull away much the best, Hoppertunity will hold second and California Chrome will run third. What a race...... Sorry did I get ahead of myself. Oh yes I did it's only Wed. still three days to see what I just wrote. See y'all @the windows.......
John Berger More than 1 year ago
Hail No More than 1 year ago
I like that Hoppertuninty, but the prop of SA Derby and Ky Derby, I hope you can at least get Vegas odds for that, because the odds will be astronomical, good luck!!
Hail No More than 1 year ago
PS, IIRC, the prop for Point Given, on the same races were 12-1..
Bruce Eckhoff More than 1 year ago
It's nice to see a cal-bred like California Chrome generate the excitement he has out here. As a bettor I try not to let my emotions get the better of me.....generally I just watch if a horse I am too fond of is running and will be an underlay. Of course if he looks like a free square in a p/3 or something like that it may be worthwhile. If CC can run 1 1/8 as impressively as he did his last it would be foolhardy to dismiss him in the Derby. I am still kicking myself for leaving I'll Have Another out of my Derby exactas..... It would be nice if Victor can rate off the speed.....stealing the Ky Derby is pretty tough in a 20 horse field. I hope the colt runs his 2nd best race Saturday, that is, save the best for the Derby.
John More than 1 year ago
If you heard Art Sherman on Sunday morning, he was saying California Chrome has just matured . He mentioned his size has grown unbelievably over the past year and his races are a fraction of what this horse can be ! California Chrome to Schoolofhardrocks, cold exacta ! ( I hope ! Ha ~)
Raymond Roberts More than 1 year ago
Wrong move Mr. Baffert....in my opinion
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
yup, exactly that. just like your own butt, everyone has one.
Ceil Rock More than 1 year ago
Bob Baffert has already shipped Hoppertunity twice this year (to New Orleans and to Hot Springs) - didn't want to ship again before the Derby. Doubt that he thinks he'll win - just wants to get another good race in him and move forward.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love California Chrome has overcome huge odds of getting a Cal Bred into the Derby picture on top. California Chrome Wins the Derby! He also won the last stake race run at Hollywood Park, the 7f King Glorious and Chrome made him proud. King never competed in the Triple crown races but he proved he was the best winning Haskell in final race of career giving him 8 wins 1 second in 9 lifetime starts. His performance at Hollywood park when he was 2 y.o. was legendary.
Jon More than 1 year ago
I dont care who wins, I want to see all 3 separated by a nose and all 3 in the derby....then winner take all.
Jim K More than 1 year ago
What happened or where is Indianapolis?
redboy More than 1 year ago
It's still in Indiana
Jon More than 1 year ago
appears he has some problems, has not worked since Feb 5th
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Baffert has so many great 3 year olds, but Indianapolis seems to have had some problems. Looks like he will run in the later races like the Swaps.
John More than 1 year ago
He got hurt, it was a minor crack in one of his legs, he will be back Baffert said . He would have been a force, I agree 110% Chrome and Candy will be tough, do not blow off Schoolofhardrocks..........he is green but improving !
James Mcrae More than 1 year ago
ive a craveing for some more candy weve only seen a little of his potential go candy
Kelly Greene More than 1 year ago
I think you've said it. A few (maybe more than a few??) it was "Barbaro" sung to the tune of the Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann." With CC, it'll be this year "the west coast has the sunshine and California Chrome."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Candy will be 5 behind C.C. He could not come close to Shared Belief and Crome looks that good.
AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
I love all these people who think CC is overrated...where will these people be when he goes off at 4-5 and jogs...oh that's right they will be back on here saying it was a speed bias track and he beat nothing...the horse is a freak people, rather than bash him why not sit back and admire his talent while he puts on a show for us all to see!
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Hilarious! So true. But then that/s what makes this so amusing.
jackdsplns More than 1 year ago
California Chrome is an absolute monster. I cannot understand why he is still underrated by many people either. Maybe it is because he's not by Tapit or Giants Causeway or because he's trained by Sherman and not the blue haired dude. I think Chrome will be closer to 8-5 given his doubters. Candy Boy and Hoppertunity will be Chromes next victims. Trevor will say "another scintillating performance by California Chrome. They would need to sprout wings to catch him"!
will More than 1 year ago
except nobody wants 4/5...
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
If he's as impressive going a mile and 1/8 as he was at mile and 1/16 then I will start believing. Lucky Pulpit scares me as the distances increase. I think Candy Boy will beat him as it stands right now.