Tag: Bob Baffert

Concert Tour and sizzling rider Joel Rosario come into the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby unbeaten in three races, including this 4 3/4-length victory in last month's Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography)

Get Your Concert Tour Tickets for This Arkansas Derby

For reasons ranging from handicapping to running style to history, the Arkansas Derby is the perfect last stop on the Kentucky Derby Trail. You could dial up a better finishing prep race. But you’d second-guess yourself mid-thought and wind up back at Oaklawn Park. Yes, Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Arkansas Derby […]

Rock Your World rocked Santa Anita Park's marquee race Saturday, winning the Santa Anita Derby by more than four lengths. Jockey Umberto Rispoli earned his first Grade 1 victory along the way. (Image: Benoit Photography)

On Record Day, Rock Your World Rocks, Rolls His Way to Kentucky Derby

Rock Your World rocked the Santa Anita Derby, which rocked bettors into producing Santa Anita Park’s largest all-sources pari-mutuel Santa Anita Derby handle in 14 years. On a day where fans returned to the Southern California track for the first time in more than a year, the 8,246 attendees on […]

Medina Spirit cost owner Amr Zedan only $35,000. He's earned nearly five times that total -- with more on the line in Saturday's $750,000 Santa Anita Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Medina Spirit, Bob Baffert Cast Their Spell in Santa Anita Derby

About the only thing faster than Life Is Good on the track was the rush of horses piling into the Santa Anita Derby the moment the Bob Baffert supercolt departed the Kentucky Derby Trail with an ankle injury. Now, all of a sudden, horses like Dream Shake, Parnelli, Law Professor […]

Champion Female Sprinter of 2020 Gamine returns to her Santa Anita Park roots Sunday in the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Champion Sprinter Gamine Makes 2021 Debut in a Grade 3

The monstrous shadow of Gamine will emerge from her five-month vacation on Sunday when the Champion Female Sprinter of 2020 makes her 4-year-old debut in the Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes at Santa Anita Park. She will likely make it as the odds-on favorite for the six-furlong Las Flores. The […]

Rombauer's furious El Calmino Real Derby stretch drive brought him his first stakes title by a nose over Javanica. But the Southern California colt is in deeper Derby prep waters in this weekend's Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. (Image: Golden Gate Fields)

For Rombauer, the Grass is Greener in Baffert-Free Blue Grass

In his past life, John Fradkin, the owner of Kentucky Derby Trail runner Rombauer, was a successful institutional bond salesman for Citigroup. This means he understands the risk/reward dynamic as well as anyone. This, in turn, explains why Fradkin took the long way home for Rombauer. Instead of running him […]

Spielberg, seen here nipping The Great One to win the Los Alamitos Futurity, makes his ninth start at his fifth track in Saturday's Florida Derby. This marks trainer Bob Baffert's first Florida Derby starter in his Hall of Fame career. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Baffert Directs Spielberg to Florida for Rare Gulfstream Park Start

Bob Baffert may be synonymous with Kentucky Derby prep races, but the Hall of Fame trainer isn’t synonymous with Gulfstream Park or one of the premier prep races on the calendar, the Florida Derby. Until now. Baffert will make his Florida Derby debut on Saturday, sending the ubiquitous Spielberg eastward […]

Essential Quality follows up his Southwest Stakes victory here with next week's Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. He opens as the 3/1 favorite in the final Kentucky Derby Future Wager pool Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

Essential Quality Opens as KDFW Final Pool Favorite

Essential Quality opened Pool 4 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager as the favorite. Now, the undefeated Tapit colt opens the fifth and final KDFW pool as the 3/1 favorite. Pool 5 of Churchill Downs’ plunge into the Derby futures market opens Friday at 9 am PT and closes Sunday […]

Medina Spirit (right) nipped Roman Centurian (left) and Hot Rod Charlie in a Robert B. Lewis photo finish in January. The Bob Baffert trainee becomes the expected favorite in the April 3 Santa Anita Derby. (Image: Benoit Photo)

With Life Is Good Out, Baffert Shuffles His Derby Prospects

With Life Is Good off the Kentucky Derby Trail with what’s been diagnosed as an ankle chip, Bob Baffert shuffled his deep bench of Derby contenders. The shuffle means both Medina Spirit and trail newcomer Defunded will run the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on April 3. Baffert made the […]

Life  Is Good turned in another bullet breeze Saturday morning. But the Kentucky Derby favorite suffered an apparent leg injury that takes him off the Derby trail. (Image: Zoe Metz Photography)

Life Is Good Taken Off Kentucky Derby Trail After Leg Injury

Current Kentucky Derby favorite Life Is Good suffered a leg injury during a Saturday morning workout, taking him off the Kentucky Derby Trail. Horse Racing Nation first reported the story, citing WinStar Farm CEO and president Elliott Walden, who texted the outlet that the horse was going to see noted […]

Roadster roared up from the stretch to win the 2019 Santa Anita Derby. The now-5-year-old returns for the first time in a year with a new trainer in the rade 2 New Orleans Classic Saturday at Fair Grounds (Image: Benoit Photo)

Roadster Returns to a Road Less Traveled: New Orleans

In the summer of 2018, Roadster was one of the hottest juveniles on the Kentucky Derby watch list. He won his debut at Del Mar by 4 ¼ lengths, then won two of his next three races. Through his first four races, Roadster was 3-for-4, with a Grade 1 victory […]

Santa Anita Park ran with empty grandstands for a year. The iconic Southern California track reopens to limited capacity Friday, April 2. (Image: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Santa Anita Park Reopens to Fans in Time for April 2 Derby

With California relaxing guidelines on allowing limited crowds into sporting venues, Santa Anita Park announced Thursday it will reopen to the public on Friday, April 2. That’s just in time for the following day’s Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Track officials didn’t reveal how many tickets they will sell or […]

Caddo River brings front-end speed, two-turn experience and Oaklawn familiarity to Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Expect Rebel Stakes to Flow Caddo River’s Way

The Grade 2 Rebel Stakes, which holds court as the lone Kentucky Derby prep of consequence this weekend, has a Grade 1 winner in its field. Bob Baffert doesn’t train 8/1 Get Her Number, the lone Grade 1 winner in Saturday’s Rebel at Oaklawn Park. Nor does Brad Cox. No, […]

Concert Tour arrived at Oaklawn Park Tuesday for Saturday's Grade 2 Rebel Stakes. He and Bob Baffert stablemate, Hozier, shipped in from Southern California. (Image: Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park)

Concert Tour’s Next Gig on Stardom Path: Rebel Stakes

If Concert Tour was your garden-variety band embarking on a, well, concert tour, he’d be one of those hot new groups from the underground. A group people have heard of, but don’t really know about. He may not have broken through to the main stage yet, but Concert Tour is […]

The betting bandwagon piled on Life Is Good after he and Mike Smith rolled to an eight-length victory in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes. He is as low as 2/1 on one Kentucky Derby futures board. (Image: Benoit Photo)

Kentucky Derby Futures: When is it Too Late to Jump In?

Here is your Kentucky Derby futures reminder that the typical Derby favorite opens around 5/2 or 3/1 when Mike Battaglia issues the Churchill Downs morning line come Derby Week. We issue this reminder because right now – nearly eight weeks before the May 1 Derby – Life Is Good sits […]

Life Is Good led at every call for the third consecutive race. His eight-length San Felipe Stakes victory brought him 50 Kentucky Derby points and depressed futures odds. (Image: Benoit Photography)

Life Is Good Shows He’s Eight Lengths Good in San Felipe Romp

The hardest part of analyzing Life Is Good’s dismantling of Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes field at Santa Anita Park is determining what was the most impressive element of his victory. Was it the eight-length victory? The legitimate fractions of 23.63 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 46.83 for the first […]

Mike Smith and Life Is Good are your odds-on favorites to win Saturday's Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. (Image: Benoit Photo)

San Felipe Stakes: Where Life Is Good to Bob Baffert

The Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes marks the point of the year where Bob Baffert’s endless 3-year-old depth finally makes him compete with himself. Yes, he’s sent out Life Is Good and Medina Spirit in the Sham. Yes, we saw Concert Tour nip Freedom Fighter in the San Vicente. But […]

Yes, Essential Quality is No. 1 in the Kentucky Derby Future Pool 4. The Tapit colt opens at 7/2 when the KDFW's Pool 4 begins Friday. (Image: Coady Photography)

No Surprise: Essential Quality Opens as 7/2 Favorite in KDFW Pool 4

Essential Quality turned his Southwest Stakes victory on Saturday into 7/2 favored status for the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) Pool 4. The KDFW’s Pool 4 runs concurrently with the Kentucky Oaks Future Wager’s sole pool. Clariere opens as the 5/1 favorite for that pool. The KDFW opens Friday at […]

Highly Motivated makes his anticipated 2021 debut in Saturday's Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. (Image: Coglianese Photos)

Weekend Stakes: History at Santa Anita, Derby Preps on Both Coasts

This weekend’s stakes lineup features one of the most iconic races in American horse racing, the Santa Anita Handicap. But even that event, technically Santa Anita Park’s Saturday headliner, may get overshadowed on its own card by a Grade 2 Kentucky Derby prep, the San Felipe Stakes. Featuring two of […]

Undefeated Essential Quality makes his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He's the 3/2 favorite in the Grade 3 Kentucky Derby prep.  (Image: Oaklawn Park)

Southwest Stakes: Answering One Question Picks Your Winner

From a betting standpoint, Saturday’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park lacks value. Do you want 3/2 Essential Quality or 8/5 Jackie’s Warrior? There are five other horses in the field, but this isn’t a rhetorical question. From a watching standpoint, the 1 1/16-mile Southwest lacks nothing. How can […]

Mishriff and David Egan pulled off a stand-up rally against Mike Smith and Charlatan to win the $20 million Saudi Cup. Charlatan's trainer, Bob Baffert, was pleased with his runner-up finish. (Image: Andrew Parker/Grosskick Racing)

Charlatan Comes Out of Gutsy Saudi Cup Finish Ready for More

The day after Charlatan finished a game, but beaten, second to England’s Mishriff in the $20 million Saudi Cup, his trainer Bob Baffert gushed about what transpired on the other end of the world. “He ran a big race,” Baffert told Santa Anita Park’s Ed Golden on Sunday morning. “He […]