Baffert, Court trade barbs on Derby drama

Baffert, Court trade barbs on Derby drama
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Nine days removed from Kentucky Derby 145 and the talk continues on the Churchill Downs backside.

“I was just talking to him, giving him a hard time, I said ‘What are you doing claiming foul, running 18th?’” Bob Baffert said about his conversation with jockey Jon Court.

Court was one of the two jockeys who filed an objection after the Derby. The 58 year-old was aboard Long Range Toddy.

“So you don’t file a claim in the Derby?” Court asked. “Well I’m not the first one to ever file a claim in the Derby, but if we can’t file a claim in the Derby, does that mean that we have a license to ride like we want and rules are barred? I think we ought to initiate a race periodically where there’s no rules. I want to make sure I’m in that race with 39 years of experience.”

Baffert and Court are both headed to Baltimore this week for the Preakness Stakes.

“Yeah, we won’t have any of the Derby winners in there,” Baffert jokingly said. “It’s still an exciting race, I think people will show up. To me it’s still an important race.”

He’ll saddle the probable morning line favorite in Improbable. The son of City Zip finished fifth in the Derby, but moved up to fourth after the disqualification of Maximum Security.

Improbable worked four furlongs at Churchill Downs on Monday morning, covering half mile in 51.80 seconds.

“Yeah I just wanted make sure that he’s hitting the ground well and he looks like he’s enjoying himself out there and so I don’t see anything that would make me want to change my mind or anything, so I think, we want to go up there and make sure that he’s really hitting on all cylinders and we don’t want to go up there and embarrass ourselves, so we’re looking good today,” Baffert said.

A field of 12 is expected to be entered and drawn on Wednesday for the Preakness. Court will ride Market King for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

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