In the News

Taking Stock: Baffert and The Avengers

When the balance of power shifts anywhere, one side or another usually makes a move to regain equilibrium. It’s the way of the world, the yin and the yang of natural order. In Avengers, a film based on Stan Lee characters from Marvel Comics, a guy named Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D., acts to save the earth from an outside threat by recruiting a bunch of superheroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk, and Thor. There’s a self-named version of…

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Where Does Rising Star Charlatan Fit on Fluid 2020 Triple Crown Trail?

Making the Grade, which will run through the 2020 Triple Crown races, focuses on the winners or top performers of the key races, usually from the previous weekend, who could make an impact on the Triple Crown. We’ll be taking a close look at impressive winners and evaluating their chances to win classic races based upon ability, running style, connections (owner, trainer, jockey), and pedigree. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve was shifted from its…

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Chris Mara: ‘Weird’ watching Charlatan’s Arkansas Derby win virtually

There were several places Chris Mara would rather have been this past Saturday other than at his home in Florida riding out the COVID-19 crisis. Two places in particular. In order: Churchill Downs or Oaklawn Racing and Casino Resort in Arkansas. Outside of his family, Mara, the Giants senior vice president of player personnel, has three loves in life. In order: The Giants, horse racing and golf. In a perfect world, Mara — who has ownership interests in race horses…

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Baffert On His Terrific Trio: ‘I Cannot Separate Those Horses Right Now’

Once upon a time, Bob Baffert was a Quarter Horse jockey. It was his success (or lack thereof) in that profession that led to his current career path as a Hall of Fame Thoroughbred trainer. Figuring that the fires still may burn within the 67-year-old Arizona native to ride fast horses, we asked the question that many in racing would like to know: Which of his three undefeated 3-year-olds – Grade 2 San Felipe winner Authentic or Saturday’s winners of…

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Time on Charlatan’s Side for Kentucky Derby

Colt won first division of Arkansas Derby (G1) in third start since February debut. Though Churchill Downs sat empty this first Saturday in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the postponement of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) could work in the favor of developing 3-year-olds, including the undefeated and newly-minted grade 1 winner Charlatan…

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Authentic ends spring break ‘right on target’ for Derby trail

Reached by phone Sunday, a day after sweeping divisions of the Arkansas Derby (G1) with a pair of unbeaten colts, trainer Bob Baffert said he was “trying to get the next batch ready.” That means Authentic, who remained perfect by exiting a victory in the March 7 San Felipe Stakes (G2). Baffert backed off the son of Into Mischief once the Santa Anita Derby (G1), originally scheduled for April 4, was postponed. A new Santa Anita Park stakes schedule released last week slots…

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Baffert Sweeps Arkansas Derby With Charlatan and Nadal

Both kept perfect records intact May 2 at Oaklawn Park. One of the main reasons trainer Bob Baffert was delighted that Oaklawn Park officials split the $500,000 Arkansas Derby (G1) into two divisions was that it removed the possibility of his two undefeated 3-year-olds, Nadal and Charlatan, slugging it out in the same race. After what happened May 2 in the two divisions of the 1 1/8-mile stakes, a showdown between the two seems inevitable—and it should be a classic matchup…

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Honor A. P., Authentic tune up for Santa Anita Derby

Saturday was supposed to be the day Authentic and Honor A. P. took their places in the starting gate at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. Instead, the highly-promising 3-year-old colts worked at Santa Anita over the weekend in preparation for the rescheduled Santa Anita Derby on June 6. Honor A. P. worked five furlongs in 1:00 on Saturday, a day before Authentic went the same distance in 1:00.40…

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