Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed it to Horse Racing Nation in a text message Wednesday, saying, “Not sure if running. Possible.” He added that a weekend workout at Santa Anita would be the signal to tell him whether the Pioneerof the Nile colt will be entered to run May 1 at Churchill Downs.
With 20 qualifying points from his second-place finish March 13 in the Rebel Stakes (G2), Hozier would be 21st on the list of active possibilities for the Derby. That means he still needs one defection above him to get into the field of 20. Dream Shake (18th) and Get Her Number (20th), both also based in California, are still not confirmed to be among the names in the entry box at Tuesday’s deadline.
“Not sure what we are doing,” Baffert said. “We just wanted to be on (the) list (to) have that option.”
A distant, last-place finish in this month’s Arkansas Derby (G1) kept Hozier from getting any more points in Derby qualifying. Owned by a partnership led by Gavin Murphy’s SF Racing, Hozier was bought as a yearling for $625,000.
Seeking a record seventh training victory in the Kentucky Derby, Baffert already is represented in the main field by Medina Spirit, who finished second as the odds-on favorite this month in the Santa Anita Derby (G1).
The 20 places in the Derby starting gate will be filled with a traditional pill-pull draw Tuesday. As many as four horses may be added as also eligible.