Trainer Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, but can he get it done a fourth time? Here are his main candidates for the race!
Bayern (Offlee Wild x Alittlebitearly by Thunder Gulch): This striking colt appears to be the white wizard’s best chance at capturing his fourth Kentucky Derby. He easily won his debut at Santa Anita where he stopped the clock in 1:22.24 seconds for the seven furlongs distance. After that, he stretched to one mile, drawing away to an easy 15 length win over stablemate Tap It Rich. He earned Beyer Speed Figures of 92 and 98, respectively. Jockey Gary Stevens was quoted saying that he was simply test driving the colt last time and he expects even bigger things in the future. Baffert wasn’t quite so brazen with his comments, but clearly thinks this guy “could” have what it takes. We will find out on Saturday in the San Felipe Stakes from Santa Anita.
Midnight Hawk (Midnight Lute x Miss Wineshine by Wolf Power): This colt was hyped to the moon and back after a brilliant first out win before proving best in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes. After that, he was third in the San Felipe Stakes after fighting rider restraint. He will accompany Bayern in the San Felipe Stakes where he will be ridden by Mike Smith. Baffert says that he will be more effective when he learns to relax in the early stages of his races.
Chitu (Henny Hughes x Sea Gift by A.P. Indy): Was good enough to be second in the Robert Lewis Stakes, which was his first attempt at routing. Many will dismiss him because of his pedigree, but Henny Hughes did produce Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Beholder and A.P. Indy is noted for his durability and stamina. He is on the outside looking in at this point, but with some improvement he is good enough to get the job done. Look for him to be a factor in whichever prep race Baffert ends up racing him in.
Indianapolis (Medaglia d’Oro x Pretty N Smart by Beau Genius): San Pedro Stakes winner was yet another hyped candidate for the 2014 Kentucky Derby, but is currently recuperating from a minor injury. He is probably a better horse for the Preakness, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby.