Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has a four-wide contingent headed for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar: defending champion Arrogate, Pacific Classic winner Collected, Travers/Pennsylvania Derby winner West Coast, and Awesome Again winner Mubtaahij.
“It's a pretty strong group that I have in the Classic,” Baffert told thoroughbredracing.com in an interview this week. “I don't know if a trainer's ever had this kind of a hand before in the Classic, and I just hope we can pull it off.”
Despite the strength of his Classic “hand,” Baffert is still rightly concerned about eastern invader Gun Runner, dominant winner of his last three starts for trainer Steve Asmussen.
“You throw Gun Runner in the mix and this is probably one of the toughest Classics that we've seen in a while now,” said Baffert. “We're still a couple of weeks out, and anyway we've all got to get by Gun Runner and that's not going to be easy. You know he's a really good horse and I don't know if Arrogate's even going to be the favorite right now.”
In addition to his Classic runners, Baffert has strong contenders in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (Abel Tasman) and in the Sprint (defending champion Drefong). Each of those is in contention for a year-end championship, as are several of his horses in the Classic.
Both Baffert trainees Mor Spirit and Cupid are expected to be pre-entered in the Dirt Mile as well.
“You always need luck,” cautioned Baffert. “Don't forget that. Racing luck is the one thing you cannot do without.”
Read more at thoroughbredracing.com.
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