Baffert Game Plan: Preachin' to Blue Grass, Wimbledon to Santa Anita Derby

Bob Baffert said Tuesday he has decided to keep Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Wimbledon home and point for the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), while San Felipe (gr. II) winner Preachinatthebar will head to Keeneland for the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).

Baffert had originally considered the Wood Memorial (gr. I) for Wimbledon, but changed his mind. "I know my horses, and it's my gut feeling to go this way," he said. "I like the shorter stretch at Keeneland for Preachinatthebar, and I don't want to have to ship Wimbledon again. Of course, that isn't etched in stone."

The Blue Grass would set up the first showdown between Baffert and Nick Zito, who is pointing Swale (gr. II) runner-up Eurosilver for the nine-furlong race.

Also shipping to Keeneland for a likely start in the Blue Grass is Minister Eric, who was second in last year's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and Del Mar Futurity (gr. II). The son of Old Trieste finished third in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance/optional claimer on the turf in his 3-year-old debut last Saturday. He'll be joined by stablemate Halfbridled, who is pointing for the Ashland Stakes (gr. I).

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