Baffert Says Domestic Dispute Won't Go On

All three of trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) starters came out of the race fine, but only two – Indian Express and Kafwain – will continue on the Kentucky Derby trail, the conditioner said Sunday.

Despite losing Santa Anita's premiere event for 3-year-olds when Indian Express was beaten by a head with Kafwain third and Domestic Dispute fifth, the conditioner was in an upbeat mood Sunday morning and looking forward to the first Saturday in May.

"Two are going to go; Indian Express and Kafwain," Baffert said. "But Domestic Dispute won't make the Derby. I think maybe he'll run in the Derby Trial (gr. III on April 26). He's still very immature and doesn't have what he needs for me to take him to the Derby. He's a very good horse, but he's just not ready for that kind of race – yet."

As for Indian Express, who was beaten by just a nose by Buddy Gil in his first start around two turns, Baffert couldn't have been more pleased with the performance of the son of Indian Charlie.

"It was awesome," Baffert said. "I love those big races; I get a real charge out of them, especially when my horses run like Indian Express. I couldn't let (Ocean Terrace) steal it, so I had to tell Tyler to go with him. And (Indian Express) came back in the stretch after sitting up there on the front and galloped out strong. He was even in front of (Buddy Gil) after the wire."

"At the top of the stretch I was one, two three. I was looking pretty good. I'm still looking pretty good (for the Derby). Kafwain looks great today, though. He looks better today than he did after his race in Louisiana (a runner-up finish in the grade II Louisiana Derby)."

Baffert also confirmed that Bob and Beverly Lewis' Senor Swinger will make Saturday's Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) at Aqueduct after watching the gray colt work six furlongs in 1:11 3/5 handily on Sunday morning. Baffert actually sent the colt out for a five-furlong work, which he caught in :59 1/5, but track clockers caught him going three-quarters of a mile instead.

"I wanted to see him work before I committed to the race," Baffert said. "And he's definitely going to the Wood. I liked the way he went today."

Santa Catarina, who will work up to the May 2 Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), went mile in 1:38 4/5.

Most Popular Stories