Apparently, trainer Bob Baffert doesn’t have a lot of derby faith in some of his 3yo fleet this season as he again has entered a Derby lock in Chitu , and Derby bubble boy in Bayern , into Saturday evening’s, opening night at Churchill Downs, $150,000, GIII Derby Trial Stakes for 3yo’s, going a 1-turn mile over the historic Churchill Downs main track.
Chitu , is a legit Derby horse as he cooked up a 1:47.4 winning time, at 1 1/8 mile in the GIII Sunland Derby last out beating Midnight Hawk by 2 1/4 lengths. If this one’s not a derby horse, well we can think of a few others who might not belong in a Derby starting gate come May 3rd and then we could narrow down 2014 derby field to just 14 gates and x out the aux gates all together this year!
Bayern , would make more sense here coming off a 3rd in the GI Arkansas Derby last out so he does have 20 derby points but is way down on the tie-breaker list! Likes it upfront early so this 1-turn mile is logical!
Spot , winner of the GII Swales Stakes 2 back but found the 1 1/8 mile of the GI Florida Derby not to his liking with a distant 7th finish! So, again the 1-turn mile as a next out makes sense to us!
Laddie Boy , 2nd in the GII KJC stakes here last fall, found that the poly wasn’t his thing with off the board finishes at Turfway and Keeneland this year. Cuts back to a mile over a surface where he has had some success!
Big Sugar Soda , 2nd in the Gazbo Stakes at Oaklawn last out making a big late move in that 6f event for that runner-up spot. With that kind of move late perhaps 8f’s would be a good next test!
Embellishing Bob , broke his maiden at the F/G last out with a win at 6f’s in a nice 1:09.2 in a wire to wire score winning by 4 lengths. He’ll stretch out to the mile here on Saturday evening for the first time!
Mark Casse rolls out Matador , again after he finished 6th in the GI Florida Derby last out. This one spend the winter in south Florida running off the board in several south Florida 3yo stakes. Could be that mark’s got the Queensplate in mind for this one and this would be a good stepping stone race to that end!
Friendswith K Mill, 7th in the S/A Derby Derby last out but had no finish in him! Needs a good finish here to move up next time!
So the Derby intrigue just keep coming as this year’s GIII Derby Trial Stakes offers some interesting starters!
Post Time for Race #8 – 10:01 pm EDT
|1.||Bayern||R Napravnik||118||B Baffert|
|2.||Chitu||J Rosario||123||B Baffert|
|3.||Big Sugar Soda||R Santana, Jr.||118||S M Asmussen|
|4.||Friendswith K Mill||K J Desormeaux||118||D F O’Neill|
|5.||Matador||J R Leparoux||118||M E Casse|
|6.||Embellishing Bob||B J Hernandez, Jr.||118||S Margolis|
|7.||Laddie Boy||S Elliott||118||C Peery|
|8.||Bitters ‘n Bourbon||C J Lanerie||118||R Moquett|
|9.||Spot||J R Velazquez||120||N P Zito|
|10.||Myositis Dan||J Rocco, Jr.||118||T F Proctor|
Picks are – 1,2,7,9 exacta box, with the 3 or 6 in the super spot!