Baffert strikes his high Kentucky Derby horses to Tim Yakteen

Trainer Bob Baffert moved the rest of his high Kentucky Derby horses to former assistant Tim Yakteen on Sunday together with Arabian Knight, winner of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn and the horse given the perfect likelihood of successful the Derby, in line with future odds.

Baffert mentioned the horses will transfer again to his barn after the Derby and earlier than the Preakness Stakes.

In addition to Arabian Knight, on Sunday he moved National Treasure, Fort Bragg and Mr. Fisk. It was beforehand telegraphed that a few of Baffert’s horses would transfer to Yakteen when the Gotham nominations got here out and former Baffert trainees Arabian Lion, Carmel Road and Hejazi had Yakteen listed because the coach. The race is Saturday at Aqueduct in New York.

Fort Warren was moved earlier to Brittney Russell and nominated for the Gotham, and Harlocap, who completed sixth within the Risen Star, was positioned with Steve Asmussen.

Reincarnate was additionally moved to Yakteen and completed third within the Rebel Stakes on Saturday.

Yakteen now has seven horses nominated for Saturday’s San Felipe at Santa Anita together with two of his personal, Kangaroo Court and Practical Move. But Yakteen instructed the Times he was going to run 5 at Santa Anita: Practical Move (jockey Evin Roman), Hejazi (Mike Smith), Mr Fisk (Frankie Dettori), Fort Bragg (Juan Hernandez) and National Treasure (John Velazquez). He plans to run Carmel Road within the Gotham.

Arabian Knight is again at Santa Anita and his subsequent race might be both the Arkansas Derby or Santa Anita Derby.

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The strikes have been precipitated by a two-year ban that Churchill Downs had positioned on Baffert after Medina Spirit examined constructive for a authorized medicine, however not authorized on race day, after successful the 2021 Derby. The horse was subsequently disqualified though that’s nonetheless in litigation.

In order to qualify for the Derby, you must accumulate factors in prep races. However, Baffert is ineligible to obtain factors, that are vacated when his horses place within the high 5 in designated races. Most of the key preps begin this weekend, which is why Baffert, after consulting with homeowners, needed to transfer his horses.

Baffert nonetheless has till Tuesday to maneuver extra horses to Yakteen or different trainers. That date was set by Churchill Downs because the final day you could possibly swap trainers for a horse and be eligible to run within the Kentucky Derby.

“I was trying to set up as smooth a transition as I could for the horses and the owners and still allow them to get Derby points,” Baffert mentioned.

“It’s hard on the grooms that have been working with the horses for a year or so. We’ve all been around these horses and in some cases we found them [at sales]. Our whole program is based on 3-year-olds and the Kentucky Derby. It’s tough to give them up. We thought we had a god chance to get an injunction, but we didn’t. So, we‘ve got to move forward, we’ve got to move on.”

Yakteen obtained two of Baffert’s Derby horses final 12 months, Taiba and Messier, whom he certified by ending first and second within the Santa Anita Derby. They weren’t as fortunate within the Kentucky Derby, ending twelfth and fifteenth.

Yakteen labored with Baffert each in quarter horses and thoroughbreds. His final stint began in 1997, the place he stayed for seven years earlier than going off on his personal as a coach.

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