Baffert Targets Kentucky Stakes with 'Doll, 'Lute

Trainer Bob Baffert has two offspring of Real Quiet on target for stakes engagements in Kentucky. Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) winner Pussycat Doll will likely defend her title in the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 5, while Perryville Stakes (gr. III) winner Midnight Lute is pointing for the Commonwealth Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Keeneland April 14.

“They're both doing well,” Baffert said at Santa Anita Thursday morning while watching Midnight Lute gallop in the fog. Also on Thursday morning, Pussycat Doll worked a half-mile in :46 at Santa Anita.

Pussycat Doll, owned by Michael Pegram, who also campaigned Real Quiet, captured the Jan. 28 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita in her first race back since winning the 2006 Humana Distaff. Baffert had decided to freshen her after the Churchill race, and she returned to defeat Nossa Cancao by four lengths in the seven-furlong Santa Monica. The $300,000 Humana Distaff is also seven furlongs and will be run the day of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Midnight Lute won the Perryville last fall at Keeneland and then competed in all three legs of Santa Anita's Strub Series, finishing third in the seven-furlong Malibu (gr. I), second in the 1 1/16-mile San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II), and fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Strub (gr. II). Baffert plans to shorten him back up for the $750,000 Commonwealth, to be run over seven furlongs. Pegram owns Midnight Lute in partnership with Watson and Weitman Performances LLC.

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