Trainer Bob Baffert left the disappointment of a last-place finish by
Coil in Saturday afternoon’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga behind him and
was home at Del Mar before midnight Pacific Time.
Baffert who was in Saratoga last year when Richard’s Kid won the
Classic, took a private jet out of Schenectady, N.Y., and was home by 10
and out at the Del Mar stable area early Sunday morning.
“Came in a G-4 man, that makes the sting a lot easier,” Baffert said.
The Hall of Famer will saddle contenders in the two Grade I events
on the card, The Factor in the seven-furlong, $250,000 Pat O’Brien and
Game On Dude in the $1 million Pacific Classic.
Making the Pat O’Brien the comeback race off a four-month layoff for
The Factor was a decision Baffert made only a week ago. A trip to
Saratoga for Saturday’s King’s Bishop was the first thought.
“But he’s been training really well over this track, and I need to
get a race in him to get him ready for (races) later in the year,”
Baffert said. The Factor won the San Vicente at Santa Anita and the
Rebel at Oaklawn Park in February and March to raise Triple Crown hopes,
but came out of a seventh-place finish in the Arkansas Derby with an
injury that has sidelined him until today.
A win by The Factor would give Baffert a sweep of Del Mar’s major
sprint stakes. Euroears took the Grade I, $250,000, six-furlong Bing
Crosby on July 31.
“I was tempted to run Euroears in there (Pat O’Brien), but I want to
keep him at six furlongs,” Baffert said. Euroears has continued to train
at Del Mar.