Baffert Taking His Time With Vindication

(from Santa Anita report)
Bob Baffert still had no word Friday on when undefeated 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile champion Vindication would make his 3-year-old debut, but the trainer did say that the $2.15 million son of Seattle Slew would have two races before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 3.

"He'll have two races, but probably not (start) until March," Baffert said. "It will be either here or out of town. For him, it (two races) will be fine, because he's a light horse. I've always been leaning for two races. I didn't know where. I could have left him here (at Santa Anita), but there's nowhere to run and I'd have to go out of town, but I didn't want to go out of town this early."

Vindication last worked on Jan. 25, going five furlongs in a bullet :58.40 under his new rider, Jerry Bailey. Baffert said he would delay the colt's next workout.

"He worked really fast the other day," Baffert said. "He got pretty charged up. He worked a little too fast. He's getting pretty antsy, so I've got to let him know, 'Not now, Kato.'"

Baffert said Vindication probably will work Sunday or Monday, again at five furlongs. "When we get to seven furlongs," Baffert said, "you'll know we're getting serious."