Baffert Switches Focus To Preakness Stakes

 May 15 2018

Bob Baffert has confirmed he will follow his usual policy with Kentucky Derby winner Justify heading into the second leg of the US Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on May 19. 

Baffert will leave Justify at Churchill Downs and ship him to Pimlico the week of the race. Baffert’s four previous Derby winners, all went on to win the Preakness on the same program.

Baffert reported that Justify - co-owned by China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm – was full of energy the day after the Derby.
“He’s pretty wild,” Baffert said. “He came out of it really well. He’s full of himself. 

He came back and he wasn’t really that tired. He’s been a handful.”

Chad Brown, the trainer of Derby runner-up Good Magic, at first said it was unlikely that last year’s 2YO champion would go on to Pimlico but has had a change of thinking.

After examining the son of Curlin - winner of the 2007 Preakness - Brown said he wanted to take more time to consider his options. Brown won the 2017 Preakness with Cloud Computing.          

“I’ve got an idea, but I’ve got to wait until I talk to the owners,” Brown said. “I’ll get their thoughts on it and let them weigh in on it.

“I want to give myself a little room to really observe the horse. The horse will tell us.”

Six-time Preakness winner D. Wayne Lukas said he expects to have two runners - Bravazo, who was sixth in the Derby, and Sporting Chance, who was fourth in the G3 Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs on Saturday. 

Also considered as probables for the Preakness are G2 Tampa Bay Derby winner and G1 Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip and Federico Tesio winner Diamond King.

Quip had enough points to qualify for the Kentucky Derby but his owners opted to give him more time to recover from the Arkansas Derby on April 7.

Trainer Todd Pletcher’s four Derby runners were led home by Audible’s third-place finish, a head behind Good Magic. 

Pletcher said all four will move on to New York for the Belmont Stakes and indicated that a Preakness entry was unlikely. 

"Everybody ships back to Belmont. We'll regroup there and not make any decisions for a week or so,” Pletcher said.

 



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