Baffert looks ahead with Comical Ghost, 'impressive' juveniles

June 16, 2019 10:59am
Baffert looks ahead with Comical Ghost, 'impressive' juveniles
Photo: Courtesy of Santa Anita Park

In addition to the well-known 3-year-olds who competed on the Kentucky Derby trail and the Triple Crown series, trainer Bob Baffert has an up-and-coming sophomore who could appear at the Grade 1 level this summer.

Baffert said Comical Ghost, an easy 2 1/4-length debut winner on June 1, is a candidate to run on the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes undercard in Saratoga’s H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) going seven furlongs.

In his first start, the Godolphin homebred son of Ghostzapper pressed the pace, took over in the turn and hit the wire over a slow Santa Anita Park surface in 1:10.93 for six furlongs.

“He came back and worked really well,” Baffert said, with Comical Ghost on the work tab last Monday going a bullet half mile in 47.20 seconds.

“…I think a horse like that, down the road — we’ve always been really high on him.”

A Triple Crown nominee, Comical Ghost was on a regular work pattern in January when a setback forced Baffert to stop on him. The colt began breezing again in March leading up to his first start.

Similarly, two more 3-year-olds to watch from the Baffert barn are the first out Del Mar maiden winners Tale of the Union and Magic On Tap. Both are back on the work tab and eligible for a number of conditions.

By the time Comical Ghost goes in the Allen Jerkens, the next crop will be off and running at Del Mar.

“I’ve got a lot of impressive looking 2-year-olds,” Baffert said. “If they run how they look, I think I should have a pretty good year with them.”

The one to watch is a $3.65 million son of Curlin purchased by Coolmore. The colt, still unnamed, arrived recently to Southern California, and Baffert said “he’s pretty impressive to look at.”

Baffert will also train a $1.8 million filly purchased by Pandora jewelry founder Michael Lund Petersen at last month’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale.

“I have really great clientele,” Baffert said. “I have good people I’ve trained for, and we’re small. I’m not actually that big of a stable, so I can manage my numbers better.”

Of course, he also gets results, with the Hall of Famer having won two Triple Crowns in recent years while training champions such Abel Tasman, Arrogate and West Coast.

“You’re only as good as your last big horse,” Baffert said. “It’s like anything — like a good restaurant. If you have a good meal, you’re gonna go back.”


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