LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Normally we’d be talking about the Kentucky Derby winner and the chances of us seeing another Triple Crown, but this year, is a little different.
In a word, the first Saturday in May of 2020 was strange. Instead of 150,000 plus, dressed in their Derby best, Churchill Downs was empty. Not just the grandstand, the barn area too.
“It’s so strange not to be there, but hopefully, it looks like things are starting to turn around a little bit,” five-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert said.
Baffert did win a Derby on Saturday, he actually won two. He trains Charlatan and Nadal, the winner of each division of the Arkansas Derby.
“It was actually pretty different but it was pretty exciting winning those two, it was like I felt like maybe, I’d won a Kentucky Derby that day,” the trainer said.
He also watched the replay of American Pharoah winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby.
“To relive it and you know watch it all, look over and watch Jill with tears rolling down her eyes because she gets so emotional. How about Bode, that was priceless.”
The NBC cameras were fixed on Baffert’s son, Bode, as he jumped and down with every Pharoah stride on that sun-drenched Saturday.
The Baffert’s also watched as American Pharoah and Justify were bested by Big Red in the virtual Triple Crown challenge.
“I knew Secretariat was gonna win,” Baffert said, “but I would have claimed foul because Secretariat wears blinkers and he did not have the proper equipment on so that could have been a DQ right there.”
That’s the last thing we need on the first Saturday in September is a DQ, but Baffert figures to have plenty to say about the outcome. Along with unbeatens Nadal and Charlatan, he also trains Authentic. The son of Into Mischief figures to make his next start in the Santa Anita Derby, tentatively scheduled for June 6.