In a surprising development, trainer Bob Baffert on Tuesday said there is a very good chance his top two Kentucky Derby prospects, Game Winner and Improbable, will make their 3-year-old debuts against one another in the Grade 2, $500,000 San Felipe Stakes on March 9 at Santa Anita.
“I have a feeling they’ll both be in there,” Baffert said. “It might be Clemson vs. Alabama.”
Baffert said the main reason both could end up in the San Felipe is a reluctance to make one of them ship for both their scheduled preps this spring. If both run in the San Felipe, one could run back in the Santa Anita Derby on April 6, and the other could go to the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn on April 13. But if one goes to the Rebel at Oaklawn on
March 16, that horse would have to be wheeled back on short rest to run in the Santa Anita Derby in order to avoid a second trip to Oaklawn.
Baffert said another of his 3-year-olds, Robert Lewis winner Mucho Gusto, is under consideration for the Rebel. He said the Sunland Derby on March 24 is also possible for Mucho Gusto.
Improbable and Mucho Gusto both worked on Wednesday morning at Santa Anita. Improbable went six furlongs in 1:13.20, while Mucho Gusto went a half-mile in 47.60 seconds.
Game Winner worked seven furlongs in 1:25 on Tuesday with regular rider Joel Rosario
In addition to Game Winner and Improbable, both unbeaten, the San Felipe is scheduled to be the 3-year-old debut for another unbeaten colt, Instagrand, who is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. Also under consideration for the race is recent allowance winner Extra Hope, who worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds on Tuesday for trainer
This story originally appeared on DRF.com.
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