Bob Baffert To Win 141th Running Of The Kentucky Derby with American Pharoah

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Bob Baffert has been around this position before, arriving at Churchill Downs with both the favorite and another leading Kentucky Derby contender. And his “second horse” has notably outperformed the favorite both times.

Bob Baffert

American Pharoah a ‘cuddly’ star

Do guess what happens they say about things happening in threes?

Barring a negative post at Wednesday’s draw, American Pharoah could be the decided favorite in the 141st Kentucky Derby following his awesome workout on Sunday. Stablemate Dortmund, undefeated from six starts, may be the likely clear second choice in the wagering.

A few articles last weekend centered on trainer Bob Baffert’s strong hand, asking observers to locate a comparison to past Kentucky Derby’s. Oblivious to Point Given-Congaree phenomenon of 2001, the sole mention I saw was Citation and Coaltown in 1948.

I disagree. Baffert was loaded for bear in 2001, with future Hall of Famer Point Given and eventual $3.2 million earner Congaree, a Grade 1 winner from distances of seven furlongs to 1 ¼ miles. Both horses were unbeaten that year, with Point Given dominating the Santa Anita Derby and Congaree romping to a facile Wood Memorial victory over well-regarded Florida Derby hero Monarchos.

Point Given and Congaree were easily the most-accomplished and best-regarded horses entering the 2001 Derby, similar to American Pharoah and Dortmund, however they couldn’t get it done on track.

Point Given wound up weakening to fifth. Congaree did much better after chasing the hot pace, missing second in a tough-luck nose photo where his head was up and Invisible Ink’s down.

Baffert’s perceived “second-stringer” also outperformed his favored stablemate in the 1998 Kentucky Derby.

Indian Charlie brought a lofty reputation to Louisville, Kentucky that year, rolling to convincing wins in all four starts. After having a stirring 2 ¼-length Santa Anita Derby victory, he was bet right down to 5-2 favoritism on Derby Day.

His stablemate, Real Quiet, concluded his juvenile season with a victory in the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity and posted runner-up finishes in the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby in advance of his Derby bid.

He wasn’t the exact same performer in prep races, but Real Quiet had an event edge over Indian Charlie, making nine starts as a juvenile. Indian Charlie was supremely talented from the get-go but arguably frail, making only four career starts prior to the Derby. The favourite exited his third-place Derby finish having an injury and never raced again.

Dortmund is more accomplished than Real Quiet but they have one thing in common – both thrived on racing.

Dortmund and Real Quiet each competed in late November and mid-December before receiving three preps as a three-year-old.

American Pharoah is likely to be making his third start since September on Derby Day. He’s the best threat to help keep rolling, but Dortmund’s supporters have reason behind optimism.

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