Baffert Back to Work, Drills Odds On, Preachin'

Trainer Bob Baffert, back at his Santa Anita base Monday after concluding a successful trip to New Orleans with a victory in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), was focusing on this weekend's sophomore stakes, sending out a pair of his top contenders for workouts.

Baffert saddled Wimbledon for a 2 1/4-length victory at Fair Grounds Sunday.

Recent allowance winner Odds On, getting ready for a probable start in Sunday's San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), went six furlongs in 1:13 3/5. The son of Silver Charm--Bluffing Girl, by Pine Bluff, who was eased in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) in his only black-type attempt last fall, won a 6 1/2-furlong option claiming event by three lengths on Feb. 22.

"He's a very fast horse and he's a very good horse," Baffert said. "We always felt he was the better of the two (Odds On and Wimbledon), but he came up with some sore shins and we had to take more time. But it all worked out."

Baffert's other San Felipe hopeful, Preachinatthebar, was also out for a work Monday. The light gray colt posted a three-quarter-mile move in 1:11 4/5 under jockey Javier Santiago. The son of Silver Charm--Holy Nola, by Silver Deputy was third to Master David and Louisiana Derby runner-up Borrego in the Feb. 8 Sham Stakes in his last start after finishing fourth in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) in January.

"He's a very talented horse," Baffert said. "I was thinking about running him either up north (in the El Camino Real Derby) or down here, but I'm sure he'll run here."

Wimbledon is scheduled to arrive back in California on Tuesday, Baffert said, but a next race has yet to be picked out for the son of Wild Rush--Strawberry Clover, by Darn That Alarm.

"I'm very happy that (owner) Jim McIngvale let me develop him the way I wanted to," Baffert said. "And it was nice he showed up (to the race) because he doesn't go to a lot of them. (Wimbledon) wouldn't have paid $16.40 if those people down there knew he was going to show up."

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