Bob Baffert says Charlatan ‘ran a big race’ at Saudi Cup – Daily News


(Through Thursday)


Flavien Prat / 39

Juan Hernandez / 34

Umberto Rispoli / 27

Joel Rosario / 26

Abel Cedillo / 25


Bob Baffert / 17

Doug O’Neill / 17

Peter Miller / 15

Richard Baltas / 13

Philip D’Amato / 13



• $100,000 Pasadena Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 mile (turf)


• $100,000 Tiznow Stakes, 4-year-olds and up bred in CA, 1 mile


• Two major Kentucky Derby preps will be run Saturday – the $300,000 Grade II Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park and the $750,000 Grade III Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. Essential Quality, last year’s 2-year-old male champion, is scheduled to make his 3-year-old debut as the 3-2 morning-line favorite in the latter, which has twice been postponed because of inclimate weather in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Jackie’s Warrior (8-5) and the Bob Baffert-trained Spielberg (9-2) appear to be Essential Quality’s two main challengers. Greatest Honour (9-5), a 5 3/4-length winner of the Holy Bull Stakes, heads a field of 10 for the Fountain of Youth, a major springboard to the $750,000 Grade I Florida Derby on March 27.

• Drayden Van Dyke, who recently picked up Hall of Famer Gary Stevens as his new agent, will begin riding at Keeneland and Churchill Downs this spring, the Daily Racing Form reported Wednesday. Van Dyke will ride at Santa Anita until the end of March and then head east. “He needs to be riding five days a week. We got full fields out there and opportunity,” Stevens told “It’s time to reboot.” Heading into Friday’s card at Santa Anita, Van Dyke, 26, was tied for 13th in the jockey standings with Mike Smith, having ridden six winners from 72 mounts (8%). He was the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice in 2014 and won the summer and fall riding titles at Del Mar in 2018. Stevens told DRF, “I know Drayden would like to come back for Del Mar.”

• Trainer Bob Baffert was disappointed Charlatan got beat in Saturday’s Saudi Cup, but not in the 4-year-old colt’s effort. “He ran a big race,” Baffert told Ed Golden of Santa Anita publicity. “He put away Knicks Go, just ran him down, turned in a gallant effort and it’s too bad he got beat. That’s a demanding track. The stretch is so long, and he ran hard.” The John Gosden trained-Mishriff won the $10 million first prize. “It was an exciting race and I would have loved to have won it, but I was afraid of a speed duel between him and Knicks Go,” Baffert added. “They locked horns after a half-mile and really picked it up the second quarter. But the way he ran, it shows what a brilliant horse he is. He put away a really good horse (Knicks Go, who finished fourth).”

— Art Wilson

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