Brisset picks up 3 horses from Baffert barn

Brisset picks up 3 horses from Baffert barn
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Trainer Rodolphe Brisset has picked up three horses that formerly were conditioned by Bob Baffert.

The three are 3-year-old colts Bezos and Hozier and 4-year-old filly Crystal Ball.

Brisset emphasized that the changes are not related to the controversy involving Medina Spirit's positive drug test after the Baffert trainee won the Kentucky Derby.

"It's just the ownership and Mr. Baffert talked and decided to leave those horses around here and not bring them back to California."

The three have been working at Keeneland.

Bezos broke his maiden on second try in March and finished ninth in the Lexington (G3) in April, which was his last start. He did not have a published work until Saturday, when he breezed three furlongs in 37.60 at Keeneland.

The son of Empire Maker is owned by SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Stonestreet Stables LLC, Golconda Stable, Siena Farm LLC and Robert E. Masterson.

Brisset said they "just kind of turned him out and let him be a horse for a little while. And then he's been back with us for three weeks and he just had his first easy 3/8 yesterday. So no plan. Obviously we will be looking at some races over the summer but as now, nothing's been picked out or planned."

Hozier, owned by the same group, most recently finished second in the Sir Barton Stakes on May 15. Prior to that, he was sixth in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

The Pioneerof the Nile colt worked five furlongs in 1:00.8 at Keeneland on Saturday, and Brisset said he is pointed to the Ohio Derby (G3) on June 26 if all goes well in his next work.

"Hozier has been pointing for the Ohio Derby on the 26th. And then he breezed yesterday, breezed very good. And so we have one more work and then if everything goes well, he will be entered in the Ohio Derby."

Crystal Ball, who was second in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) last summer at Saratoga, is 2-for-2 this year, with both wins coming in allowance races. The last start for the daughter of Malibu Moon was at Churchill Downs on May 15.

"She is pointing for the Lady Jacqueline on the same day. The Fleur de Lis could be a possible but as of today we are leaning toward to run her in the Lady Jacqueline," also at Thistledown. The Fleur de Lis is at Churchill Downs, also on June 26.

Bezos and Hozier are high-profile 3-year-olds, but Brisset says he has a better one in his barn. That would be Harvard, a full brother to Classic Empire who has a record of 2-2-0 in four starts. After breaking his maiden going a mile and 70 yards at Indiana Grand on May 12, he scored in an allowance race at Churchill Downs on Friday.

"First time against winners, he was against older and there were some tough, older horses in there. He ran in 1:48 and change – I think he run an 86 Beyer. So now it looks like he's going the right way."

He's thinking big for that Pioneerof the Nile colt.

"Obviously now it's time to step it up. So our initial plan was maybe to look at the Indiana Derby but I don't know if we want to get him back to a mile and 16 after he just won a mile and an eighth. So we may take a good look at the Curlin and the Jim Dandy (G2) as a prep for the Travers (G1) if we think he's that good. But he's obviously bred for it and he's been showing some talent so far."

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