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Breeders' Cup 2017

Baffert Still Has Two for Pacific Classic

Bob Baffert’s Pacific Classic contingent was diminished by one with the sale of Richard’s Kid, but it was back to business as usual Sunday morning for the Hall of Fame trainer.

Baffert nominated four horses to the TVG Pacific Classic -- Game On Dude, Richard’s Kid, Jaycito and Coil – with the focus on the first three for the Classic. Coil’s nomination, however, was as a contingency plan for unforeseen events leading up to the race.

The sale of two-time Classic winner Richard’s Kid was unforeseen, Baffert said, but not a development that changes plans to run Coil in the Grade II $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes on Pacific Classic Day.

“I’m down to two,” Baffert said of his Pacific Classic prospects.

Chantal Sutherland will ride Game On Dude, whom she has guided to victories in the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap and 2012 Hollywood Gold Cup. The mount on Jaycito was undetermined Sunday morning pending discussions involving Baffert and Joe Ferrer, the agent for jockey Rafael Bejarano, and the new connections for Richard’s Kid. The meet’s leading rider, Bejarano, who rides regularly for Baffert, has been aboard Richard’s Kid in three 2012 starts since the seven-year-old horse’s return from Dubai.

Possibilities for Bejarano include retaining the mount on Richard’s Kid or riding Jaycito for Baffert. If Bejarano opts for the former, Baffert said Victor Espinoza would ride Jaycito.

Of the sale of Richard’s Kid, Baffert said he was surprised and somewhat disappointed.

“It was handled very unprofessionally. But, it happens, so move on.”

 

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