Two years ago, trainer Bob Baffert sent Mike Pegram's Captain Steve to the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows to "make a man of him." While he doesn't have quite the credentials of Captain Steve, Baffert has entered Pegram's Danthebluegrassman for the $250,000 Iowa Derby at 1 1/16 miles on July 5.
"If he could talk, he'd say 'run me,'" trainer Bob Baffert said of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner War Emblem after the colt worked a half-mile in :48 under Dana Barnes on Tuesday morning at Santa Anita.
War Emblem breezed an easy three furlongs in :35 4/5 under exercise rider Dana Barnes at Santa Anita Park on Wednesday morning, the first recorded work for The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Our Emblem colt since his June 8 defeat in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
War Emblem galloped 1 3/8 miles at Santa Anita Park on Tuesday, marking the Our Emblem colt's return to the track for the first time since his bid to win the Triple Crown failed in the June 8 Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
A mid-year clash of top-level handicap runners is in store Saturday at Churchill Downs as Congaree, third-place finisher in last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (both gr. I) faces off against Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Street Cry in the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed that Stonerside Stable's Congaree would run in Saturday's $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs despite his top weight assignment of 121 pounds, where he'll concede from one to 11 pounds to the other probable starters.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem will be shipped on Sunday to trainer Bob Baffert's Santa Anita barn in Southern California.
New Phoenix Stable's Sarava, who paid $142.50 as the longest priced Belmont Stakes winner ever, flew out of New York and back to Kentucky at about 8:30 a.m.Sunday morning.
Before a huge crowd of onlookers on a windy, wet Friday morning, War Emblem showed one of the reasons why trainer Bob Baffert is so enamored with the colt.
He went unsold for $20,000 at the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale, and a little over 1 1/2 years later, was worth a cool million. The big questions are how many millions and what's in store for the owners if War Emblem wins the Belmont Stakes.
Trainer Bob Baffert answers questions about War Emblem's quest for the Triple Crown and his previous Triple Crown contenders.
Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem had his final serious work for Saturday's Belmont Stakes when he worked five furlongs in 1:01 at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning. "Whew, I'm glad that's over," a relieved trainer Bob Baffert said as the colt pulled up.
Stonerside Stable's Congaree will be nominated to both the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill Downs and the $500,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park, according to trainer Bob Baffert. Both races are slated for June 15.
Pat Day will ride Columbine Stable's Like A Hero in the June 8 Belmont Stakes.
Bob Baffert, trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner War Emblem, said on a national teleconference Thursday he is going to try to enjoy his third attempt at a Triple Crown sweep, and advised Magic Weisner's trainer Nancy Alberts to do the same.
Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem had his first serious work since his May 18 Preakness triumph, breezing five furlongs in 1:00 3/5 Wednesday at Churchill Downs.
In his debut as a handicap horse, Congaree ended a 10-month break from competition with a victory in the Lone Star Park Handicap.
Will the third time be the charm for Bob Baffert? No other Thoroughbred trainer in history has accomplished what Baffert has in a remarkable six-year span--point three different horses to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with the Triple Crown on the line.
It was no longer about buying the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), or Saudi Arabian politics, or lawsuits and bonuses. The 127th Preakness Stakes (gr. I) was about a white-haired man and his free-spirited black horse, and the history they will be attempting to make in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on June 8.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Mike Pegram calls Bob Baffert "an artiste." Bob Lewis says he is "unbelievable." And Prince Ahmed Salman, whose colors have been carried to victory in four consecutive Triple Crown races by the Baffert-trained duo of Point Given and War Emblem, proclaims the conditioner a "genius."
War Emblem walked his Churchill Downs shedrow Tuesday morning, three days after his triumph over Magic Weisner in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).
Get ready New York. Bob Baffert and War Emblem are coming.
War Emblem will have shot to become racing's 12th Triple Crown winner following his dramatic victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) at Pimlico. Following a wire-to-wire score in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) two weeks ago, jockey Victor Espinoza rated War Emblem off a quick pace, got to the lead on the turn, then held off a strong rally by Maryland-bred Magic Weisner to win by three-quarters of a length.
Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem took the second leg of the Triple Crown when he strode off to win Saturdya's Preakness Stakes over longshot Magic Weisner.
On the eve of Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), the buzz around Baltimore's Pimlico Racecourse is which horses will be on the lead or pressing the pace so that War Emblem does not get an uncontested victory as he did in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
With only two horses left to be drawn, including Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner War Emblem, and the first and last choices for post positions remaining, trainer Bob Baffert was poised to be either the straw that stirred the Preakness post position drink or a man without a plan.
Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem and Harlan's Holiday, who was unplaced as the Derby favorite, both worked at Churchill Downs on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's Preakness Stakes. Meanwhile at Pimlico, final works were turned in by Crimson Hero and U S S Tinosa.
On the morning of the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), the phone rang in Victor Espinoza's hotel room--it was a wake-up call he won't soon forget. On the line was trainer Bob Baffert, reminding Espinoza he wanted to see him regarding his mount aboard War Emblem that afternoon.
Bob Baffert keeps a photograph of the 1996 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) finish on the wall of his Churchill Downs barn office. It depicts Cavonnier, his first Derby starter, losing by a nose to Grindstone, who gave trainer D. Wayne Lukas his third Derby victory.
One year after his Point Given delivered to Prince Ahmed Salman a crushing defeat, the 43-year-old Saudi Arabian media magnate found his way to the Kentucky Derby winner's circle in the hoofprints of his speedy 2002 victor, War Emblem.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick -- Giving credit to assistant trainers; changing the entry and graded stakes money rules; and a call to increase the Kentucky Derby purse.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman won't be making the trip to Texas for this Saturday's $500,000 Lone Star Derby (gr. III), trainer Bob Baffert said on Tuesday, because the condition that forced his being scratched from the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) had not improved to the trainer's satisfaction.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman, a surprise entrant in Saturday's Kentucky Derby who was scratched on the morning of the race because of a muscle problem, showed no ill effects from the problem when he worked a half-mile in :50 3/5 at Churchill Downs on Tuesday.
One day after War Emblem's stunning front-running victory in the Kentucky Derby, trainer Bob Baffert said he believes the colt can win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
H. L. Mencken once wrote, "The theory seems to be that as long as man is a failure, he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the devil." On May 4, the "devils" got their due...again. Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas, the same two masters of the racing universe who captured five consecutive Kentucky Derbys (gr. I) from 1995 to 1999, were allowed to team up with 20-1 War Emblem and 23-1 Proud Citizen for the largest exacta payoff in Derby history.
Mike Pegram's Danthebluegrassman was scratched from the Kentucky Derby early Saturday morning after he "tied up" following a routine gallop at Churchill Downs.
Reflecting the large field size and overall balance of the competitors, Churchill Downs handicapper Mike Battaglia made Toyota Blue Grass Stakes and Florida Derby winner Harlan's Holiday the lukewarm 9-2 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Derby.
While the colts and geldings who will compete in the Kentucky Derby are taking much of the limelight at Churchill Downs in the mornings, about a dozen fillies continue to progress toward the Kentucky Oaks run on Derby eve.
Probable Kentucky Derby favorite Harlan's Holiday turned in a fast workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, with trainer Ken McPeek expressing satisfaction in how the colt is coming into the season's first classic.
Kentucky Derby contender War Emblem, purchased by The Thoroughbred Corp. after his win in the Illinois Derby (gr. II), sparkled at Churchill Downs Thursday in his first work for new trainer Bob Baffert.
A Los Angeles federal district court judge dismissed the California Horse Racing Board's morphine case against trainer Bob Baffert April 15.
Bob Baffert has indicated that Thoroughbred Corp.'s outstanding 3-year-old Officer will be entered in the $325,000-added Coolmore Lexington Stakes to be run Saturday April 20.
Trainer Frank Springer spent his final day with War Emblem Thursday, as the son of Our Emblem will be transferred to Bob Baffert's barn at Churchill Downs Friday barring anything unforeseen happening to stop the sale of the colt to The Thoroughbred Corp.
Racing's Holy Grail--The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby--Chapter 4
Racing's Holy Grail--The Epic Quest for the Kentucky Derby--Chapter 4
You've heard it said many times: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, things certainly are changing each week on the road to the Kentucky Derby, but we seem to be just about where we were when we embarked on the journey almost three months ago.
The Thoroughbred Corporation's Puerto Banus, gearing up for Sunday's San Felipe Stakes (gr.II), worked five furlongs in :59 2/5, handily, over Santa Anita's fast main track Tuesday morning.
One of trainer Bob Baffert's last Triple Crown hopefuls, Danthebluegrassman, attempts to stride further along the trail when he faces 10 other 3-year-olds in Saturday's $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.
Trainer Bob Baffert sent out a pair of 3-year-olds Wednesday morning. Mountain Rage went 1:11 2/5 and Puerto Banus went 1:10 4/5.
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