Baffert going through roller coaster stretch

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No Southern California amusement park provides the type of roller coaster ride trainer Bob Baffert has been on the last five weeks.

On May 2, Nadal and Charlatan, both trained by Baffert, won the two divisions of the Arkansas Derby to put them at or near the top of most Kentucky Derby contender lists. They were joined there by stablemate Authentic, who like Nadal and Charlatan was undefeated after winning the San Felipe Stakes in March.

Skip forward to May 26 when it was announced that Charlatan and Baffert’s highly regarded filly Gamine did not originally pass post-race testing from their May 2 victories. Split samples are currently being tested before a ruling can be announced. On May 28, Nadal suffered a condylar fracture of his left foreleg in a workout at Santa Anita, had surgery later that morning, and was retired by the end of the day.

The richest North American racehorse in history — Arrogate — had to be euthanized June 2 at Juddmonte Farm after suffering an undetermined illness at the age of seven. Trained by Baffert, Arrogate’s consecutive wins in the 2016 Travers, Breeders’ Cup Classic, the 2017 Pegasus World Invitational, and Dubai World Cup secured his place as one of the fastest horses of our time. Arrogate had lifetime earnings of over $17.4 million and was proving to be a popular commercial stallion.

Last Saturday, it was announced that Charlatan came up with a filling in an ankle and will have to be turned out for 45 days, eliminating any chance of running in the June 20 Belmont Stakes or the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby. That same afternoon, Authentic tasted defeat for the first time when second-best to Honor A.P. in the Santa Anita Derby.

Earlier on that same card, Baffert unveiled a $3.65 million juvenile purchased named Cezanne, who toyed with Maidens sprinting. The three-year-old son of Curlin was already taking action in Kentucky Derby future book wagers prior to his debut and could be any kind.

Baffert closed out his weekend winning the Hollywood Gold Cup with Improbable on Saturday and taking the Triple Bend Stakes on Sunday with McKinzie.

In horse racing, fortunes can turn in the blink of an eye. Just ask Baffert.

Maxfield off Triple Crown trail 

Undefeated Maxfield, impressive winner of the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs May 23 in his 2020 debut, will miss the Triple Crown races after suffering a condylar fracture of his right front leg in a workout Wednesday at Keeneland. 

Owned and bred by Godolphin and trained by Brendan Walsh, Maxfield’s connections were choosing between the Belmont Stakes in New York and the Blue Grass Stakes at his home track at Keeneland on July 11 when the injury occurred.  

Current probables for next week’s Belmont Stakes include: Tiz the Law, Tap It to Win, Dr Post, Farmington Road, Sole Volante, Modernist, NY Traffic, Basin, and Pneumatic. We will provide a detailed look at the Belmont Stakes next week.

10 horses die in van fire

Ten horses trained by Christophe Clement died when the horse van they were travelling in caught fire on the New Jersey Turnpike.

The Sallee horse transportation van was bringing horses from Clemente’s Florida training base at Payson Park to his Belmont Park stable when the accident occurred around 3:15 a.m. Sunday morning.

The list of horses involved was not released pending notification of their ownership, but West Point Thoroughbreds, through Twitter, identified two of the horses as belonging to their syndicate. The two horses were Hot Mist, a three-year-old filly, won her debut at Tampa Bay Downs on May 16. Under the Oaks, a three-year-old filly by American Pharoah who cost $375,000 as a yearling, finished sixth in her career debut on the grass at Gulfstream Park May 30.

Lindo Report Play for Gaming Today: Santa Anita Friday, Race 5 — Foothill (No. 5). After getting squeezed between horses after the start in his debut, this Cal-bred pulled hard in traffic but kept to his task to end up a respectable fourth. With a clean break, he could end up loose on the lead.

About the Author

Jon Lindo

Jon Lindo is a syndicated handicapper, long-time thoroughbred owner, and publisher of the Lindo Report. Jon is also a regular contributor to Race Day Las Vegas Radio show on KSHP 1400 in Las Vegas and Thoroughbred Los Angeles Radio show, heard in Las Vegas at thoroughbredla.com.

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