Baffert's Derby plans up in the air - News, Weather & Sports

Baffert's Derby plans up in the air


( From Churchill Downs )

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that Power Broker was no longer a candidate for the Derby, that a decision on Code West’s status will be made after he talks with owner Gary West about the colt’s breeze and that Govenor Charlie will work Monday morning.
Working in company with unbeaten Kentucky Oaks prospect Midnight Lucky, Code West completed five furlongs under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in 1:00.40. He turned in splits of :12.60, :24.80, :37 and :48.80, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.60. The work time was the sixth fastest of 42 at the distance.
“He worked nice today,” Baffert said. “He likes this track. He’s starting to do much better. He had a setback; the second time I took him to Louisiana (finishing sixth in the Louisiana Derby), he didn’t run well. I was really disappointed in his run, but now it looks like he’s coming back.
“Our options are the Derby, the Preakness, the Peter Pan. The Belmont has been the target for him. I’m just going to sit down and talk with Gary West today after I worked him and see what I thought. We’re going to go over it. There’s no rush to judgment yet.”
Power Broker was a Grade I winner as a 2-year-old last year, but has only made one start in 2013, a well-beaten fifth in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
“Power Broker is a nice horse,” Baffert said. “He’s coming back and had that one out. Code West and him are going to get better with age. Mr. West does not want to compete unless he has a chance to win the race. He wants to be right there. That’s what you have to look at. Just leading them up there to be part of it, is not how he rolls. He wants to be competitive. When they turn for home, we want to be able to root.
“By the summer, they’re going to be really good horses.”
Governor Charlie has not breeezed since April 11 and was examined by Dr. Larry Bramlage after he was found to have a foot bruise and some soreness in his hind end. The Sunland Derby (GIII) winner has been given a clean bill of health, but Baffert has been careful not to push him.
“We’ll know more tomorrow,” Baffert said. “It was a nice track today and we let Govenor Charlie gallop a little bit. I just want to monitor him really well. If not here, he’ll go to the Preakness. You can’t have a hiccup and we had a little hiccup with him. I just want to see how he went. He looked good today, but there is no rush in making that call yet.”
However, Baffert said experience tells him to be cautious with Derby candidates.
“Govenor Charlie’s last out was pretty impressive,” he said. “It’s a shame that we had that little setback with him. He looks really good now, but I’m a little tight for time and I don’t want to press him. Everything has got to go smooth. Every time I’ve come with these Derby horses, you can’t miss a beat. It’s one of those things where I let the horse tell me.”
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