Kafwain Completes Louisiana Derby Preparations

Kafwain Completes Louisiana Derby Preparations
Photo: Benoit photos
Kafwain, heads to Saturday's Louisiana Derby.
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s early Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite Kafwain was put through his final preparations for Sunday's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds with a six-furlong work in 1:11 2/5, handily, in company with stablemate Requesto, over Santa Anita's fast main track Monday. Dana Barnes was up for the drill, which was the second-fastest of the 14 horses who went six furlongs. Requesto was given a time of 1:13 1/5 for his move, crossing the wire about three lengths behind Kafwain.

"He went good, he's training good, he's feeling good," trainer Bob Baffert said of the son of Cherokee Run. "I think the surface down there will be good for him and I expect him to get a lot out of the race. He's ready."

Despite top billing as early favorite for the Run for the Roses, Baffert doesn't think Kafwain should necessarily be favored when he heads postward in Sunday's 1 1/16-mile race.

"The house horse (Badge of Silver) should probably be the favorite," Baffert said of Ken Ramsey's Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) victor. "He's got a couple of wins over that track and has been training down there, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's (the favorite). He should be."

Kafwain won the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) by 4 ½ lengths on Feb. 1 last out and also won last year's Norfolk (gr. II) and Best Pal Stakes (gr. III) before finishing second in the Del Mar Futurity (Gr. II) and the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He ended his 2-year-old campaign with a second-place finish by a head in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I), but was disqualified and placed fourth for interfering with stablemate Domestic Dispute. His career line stands at 4-2-1 in nine starts, with earnings of $625,848.

Kafwain, along with Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. III) hopeful Atlantic Ocean, will be flown to Louisiana on Wednesday and is expected to return to Baffert's California base the following Monday.

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