Baffert talks 2-year-olds, sets high bar for Chasing Yesterday

October 21, 2018 10:56am

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said he’ll occasionally send a filly in a race expecting she’ll show up, but “they don’t run and get beat a mile.” Such was the case for Chasing Yesterday, the half-sister to American Pharoah, in the Spinaway Stakes (G1) Sept. 1 at Saratoga.

But the daughter of Tapit, out of the mare Littleprincessemma, returned in style Oct. 14 to win Santa Anita Park’s Anoakia Stakes at six furlongs.

“I think slowly we’re going to try to get her to the Kentucky Oaks,” Baffert recently told Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein, hosts of the Inside Churchill Downs radio show. “That’s the long-range plan.”

Chasing Yesterday is likely to appear next in Del Mar’s Desi Arnaz Stakes, followed by the Starlet Stakes (G1) at Los Alamitos. Baffert won both of those races last year with Dream Tree, who missed the Oaks due to injury but remains undefeated as she targets the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.

Chasing Yesterday is a Summer Wind Equine homebred who broke her maiden impressively at Del Mar before missing the board in the Spinaway. Following the Anoakia score, “I think if the Breeders’ Cup would have been here, I wouldn’t have had a problem turning her back around and running in the Breeders’ Cup,” Baffert said.

Rather, he’ll wait, playing the long game with the filly.

Of course, Baffert will still be represented in the 2-year-old ranks on Nov. 2 at Churchill Downs, this year dubbed “Future Stars Friday.” Unbeaten and multiple Grade 1 hero Game Winner is the expected Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite.

“He’s a gamer. He’s for real,”Baffert said on Inside Churchill Downs. “He’s a real horse, and he just gets stronger. When you see him, he looks like a man amongst boys right now. He fits the part.”

Baffert went on a 14-for-19 run with 2-year-olds debuting on the dirt from June through mid-October. Among the winners was Roadster.

“Well, TMZ put him on the map,” the Hall of Famer said.

Roadster, if you remember, was the name Baffert mentioned to the tabloid website when asked about his next Justify or American Pharoah. The dominant maiden winner was last seen running third in the Del Mar Futurty (G1).

“I think he’s a very good horse,” Baffert said. “He had a little throat issue, we corrected it, and he’s coming back into training next week.”

A number of other Baffert maiden winners — Mucho Gusto, Improbable, Take of the Union and Magic on Tap, to name a few — also impressed first out. They’ve also registered on our Kentucky Derby Radar as we await their next starts.


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