Race of the Week 2017

Baffert Loses Richard's Kid and Bodemeister

It was a tumultuous weekend at Del Mar, with two-time Pacific Classic winner Richard's Kid sold and transferred to Doug O'Neill's barn from Bob Baffert, making the move just 8 days before his 3rd attempt in the G1 race.  An ownership group including Santa Anita CEO Mark Verge and Triple B Farms purchased the horse for $1 million, which seems a little low to me considering he's a still a horse, with a decent pedigree and proven durability, and has the potential to earn well over that sum within just a few months should he perform well in the Pacific Classic and the Breeders' Cup.  Richard's Kid is coming off of a track-record setting performance in the Cougar II and a source had told me he was the horse to beat in the Pac Classic, so it will be interesting to see how he does with the change of environment.  When I paid Richard's Kid a visit on Sunday afternoon (left), he seemed to be doing well.  He was relaxed and friendly, in a stall bedded with the wood shavings customary in Baffert's barn. 


In addition to changing owners and trainers, Richard's Kid also changed jockeys, with Victor Espinoza named to ride in the Pacific Classic.  O'Neill's assistant Leandro Mora, in whose name the horse will run while O'Neill serves his suspension, spent his first day on the job wrangling with jockey agents and even being turned over to the stewards by Rafael Bejarano's agent.  Though it was a baptism by fire, Mora says that having Richard's Kid in the barn makes it worth it- he's "the cherry on top."


Bob Baffert, who said he felt like his pocket was picked in regards to the Richard's Kid situation, suffered another blow today when it was announced that Bodemeister has been retired to stud at WinStar.   When he started training poorly he was sent to Rood and Riddle in Kentucky, and after an extensive examination he was diagnosed with a nerve injury in his shoulder.  Though he could have recovered in 60 days, the decision was made to retire him.  


In weekend stakes action, Lady of Shamrock won her second Grade I in a row on Saturday in the Del Mar Oaks, over longshots Stormy Lucy and Open Water.  Jockey Mike Smith was all smiles afterward (right), and appears to have a strong hand heading into the Breeders' Cup races as the regular rider on not only Lady of Shamrock, but also Amazombie, Royal Delta, and Mucho Macho Man.  Sunday Winding Way survived an objection from the third-place finisher to win the G3 Rancho Bernardo after being left in the gate.  Sugarinthemorning hung on for second, with Rumor closing for third.  Also on Sunday, Halo Dolly repeated in winning the Solana Beach Handicap for Cal-bred fillies and mares ahead of Warren's Jitterbug and Caitie's Secret.



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Older Comments about Baffert Loses Richard's Kid and Bodemeister...

why do owners give horses do suspended trainers? Drug O'Neill is detrimental to our sport and needs to be shown the door.
Baffert? Rough Year???? Have you looked at his win percentage lately???? It's over 30 percent.
Sad to see so many talented three year olds retire at the same time.
Poor Bob has had a rough year. Will he ever catch a break? Stay sound, Paynter! Please!
Good for Doug O'Neill.
Like the above comment.
Good thing he still has the Dude!

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