Even With Top Colt Sidelined, Life On Triple Crown Trail Is Still Good For Baffert

 Medina Spirit, twice runner-up to unbeaten stablemate Life Is Good, is scheduled to have his final major work Sunday for the Grade 1 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, a race trainer Bob Baffert has won a record nine times, starting with California-bred Cavonnier in 1996 and culminating to date with Roadster in 2019.

Even with the defection of early Kentucky Derby favorite Life Is Good due to a small chip in his left hind ankle, Baffert still has three other Triple Crown hopefuls, among them undefeated San Vicente Stakes and Rebel Stakes winner Concert Tour, who worked five furlongs Saturday morning in 1:00.80 under Juan Ochoa for the Arkansas Derby on April 10.

“He went great; he looked fantastic,” the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer said of the son of Street Sense owned and bred by Gary and Mary West.

“He couldn’t have looked any better. He just cruised around there in a minute and change.”

Runhappy Santa Anita Derby candidates working Saturday included Dream Shake for Peter Eurton, five furlongs in 59.80, Roman Centurian, five furlongs in 1:00.40 for Simon Callaghan, and The Great One, six furlongs in 1:14.20 for Doug O’Neill.

The 68-year-old Baffert is closing in on fellow Hall of Fame member D. Wayne Lukas for the lead in Grade 1 wins from Jan. 1, 1976 through yesterday. The 85-year-old Lukas has 219 wins from 1,390 starts; Baffert is one back with 218 from 915 starts.

With 896 career wins at Santa Anita (not including Oak Tree), Baffert also is nearing the record for most races won at The Great Race Place, 21 behind the late Bobby Frankel’s 917.

The Runhappy Santa Anita Derby headlines six stakes this Saturday, four of them graded and two showcasing California-bred or sired runners.

In addition to the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby, they are the G2 Santa Anita Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles; the G2 Royal Heroine for fillies and mares 4 and up at one mile on turf; and the G3 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf.

Also, the two Golden State Series races, the $150,000 Echo Eddie Stakes for three year olds at 6 ½ furlongs and the $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.

Saturday’s local weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies, zero percent chance of rain, and a high of 77 degrees.

The post Even With Top Colt Sidelined, Life On Triple Crown Trail Is Still Good For Baffert appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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