Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

After injury, favorite's mantle falls on Baffert horse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bob Baffert has suddenly gone from having a solid contender to having the solid favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

Last year's 2-year-old champion, Lookin At Lucky, assumed the role after Eskendereya was forced out of the field by a leg injury.

"There's no telling how good that horse was. (Trainer) Todd Pletcher has never brought a horse to the Derby like that," Baffert said on a cloudy and cold Monday at Churchill Downs. "The Derby dream just gets totally lost like that. It's horrible."

Baffert knows the feeling.

In 1998, Event of the Year was to be the Derby favorite but broke a leg the week before the race. Baffert's horse, Indian Charlie, went off as the favorite. His other entry, Real Quiet, won, giving the trainer his second straight Derby victory.

Mike Pegram owned Real Quiet, who won the Preakness, putting him and longtime friend Baffert on the brink of the Triple Crown. The colt was beaten by a nose in the Belmont.

Now, Baffert and Pegram, who co-owns Lookin At Lucky, have a shot at making the head-spinning trip to the winner's circle together again.

"You appreciate it more as you get older. You understand what the Derby really means," Pegram said. "You know how fortunate and lucky you are to make the race and to have a chance to win it."

Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia calls Lookin At Lucky the "solid favorite" for Saturday's 1¼-mile race.

FIELD SHRINKS: Pletcher, who once had as many as seven contenders for the Kentucky Derby, saw his brigade shrink to five when Rule was withdrawn. Sunday, Pletcher withdrew Eskendereya because of swelling in his left front leg. Pletcher still didn't know the full nature of the injury.

HALL OF FAME: Former horse of the year Point Given joined jockeys Randy Romero and Alex Solis among the 10 finalists nominated for election to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The other nominees are Azeri, Best Pal, Open Mind, Safely Kept and Sky Beauty, and trainers Gary Jones and Robert Wheeler. Results will be announced May 28.

fast facts

Kentucky Derby

What: 136th running of the first of the Triple Crown races

When/where: 6:24 p.m. Saturday; Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

TV: Ch. 8 Purse: $2 million

Grade/distance: I; 11/4 miles Post draw: 5 p.m. Wednesday

Friday: Kentucky Oaks, 5 p.m. Friday, Bravo

Saturday: Kentucky Derby Undercard, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., ESPN; Access at the Kentucky Derby/Kentucky Derby Red Carpet Special, 4-5 p.m., Ch. 8; Kentucky Derby, 5-7 p.m., Ch. 8

2009 winner: Mine That Bird, 2:02.66

Other Triple Crown races: Preakness Stakes, 6:05 p.m. May 15, Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Ch. 8; Belmont Stakes, 6:32 p.m. June 5, Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y., Ch. 28

After injury, favorite's mantle falls on Baffert horse 04/26/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 12:03am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning planning $6 million upgrade to practice facility

    Blogs

    Lightning owner Jeff Vinik will invest $6 million in upgrading the team's practice facility, the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon.

    The plan will create a brand new locker room and training facilities for the team, an 18,000 square foot addition.
  2. Buccaneers defense was among NFL's best when its pressure got to the QB

    Bucs

    It doesn't matter how many times they've thrown a football. It doesn't matter how many seasons they've played. It doesn't matter whether they have a degree from Harvard or Central Florida.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recorded 6.5 sacks last season, but many of his other contributions didn't show up in the box scores. [ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times]

  3. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger

    Blogs

    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  4. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season

    College

    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  5. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium (w/video)

    Blogs

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.