Horse Racing

Arab Knights Too Much for Southwest Enemies

After riding Zedan Racing Stables’ Arab Knights to his first win spanning 7 1/4 making his debut at Keeneland on 5 November, Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez said the pony reminded him of the lord of the horse, Uncle Mo his 2010 male pilot 2 year old champion.

On January 28 at Oaklawn ParkAfter the 3-year-old Arabian Knight’s overwhelming victory in the $750,000 Southwest Stakes tournament, it was Hall of Fame coach Bob Baffert’s turn to commend the pony, saying, “He’s making progress. It’s getting better and in the summer I think it’s going to be ridiculous.We’re always looking for the next thing. American Pharoah .”

American Pharaoh—2015 Triple Crown winner, one of only two such historic winners trained by Baffert, the other being Justify in 2018.

Whether the Arabian Knights even stand a chance of pursuing a full Triple Crown run, at least with Baffert as his coach, led by Churchill Downs Inc. bans him from participating in its tracks until mid-2023. CDI’s action comes after Zedan Racing Stables’ Medina spirit tested positive for a banned drug on race day after crossing the first wire in the 2021 Kentucky Derby. He was subsequently disqualified from the competition by Kentucky managers, a decision that is being appealed. fox.

Baffert has a February 2 court date in Louisville, Ky., to seek an injunction that could allow him to participate in the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

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One of Baffert’s attorneys, Clark Brewster, poses with the coach in the winners’ circle after Saturday’s race. California-based Baffert rarely attends races at Oaklawn but chose to do so on Saturday even though there were also horses competing for stakes at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita . Park.

If legally unsuccessful, the Arab Knights and other Baffert cadets will have to move to other stables to earn Derby qualifying points and compete in the race. Last year, two Baffert runners qualified for the Derby after moving into coach Tim Yakteen’s warehouse, which includes Zedan Racing Stables’ Taiba 12th runner.

Regardless of what happens in the weeks and months to come, 1 1/16 miles Southwest has strengthened that Arabian Knights. bought $2.3 million last year, is one of the most talented 3-year-olds in North America.

Exploding most of the field in his first leg, he took the lead with quick scores of :22.98, :46.82 and 1:11.88, while always in hand, then close the gap to win the gap 5 1/2 ponies ranked 1st run late Red Road One . Pursuit of speed dim departure third run.

Just under one hit from Velazquez down the lane, the winner was timed 1:43.50 on a sloppy track, capped at sixteenth place: 6.25. He paid $2.80 to win.

“What he did today — he ran 1:43 and changed — it was race time and he did it without taking a deep breath,” Baffert said. “This is a big effort, so he needs time in between (races).”

The win is record sixth for Baffert in the Southwest and third for Velazquez.

His driver said the Arab Knight “makes it look easy” despite “looking around a lot.”

Velazquez noted: “At the quarter-final column, I chased him, he opened up and saw the tire tracks (from the starting gate)”. “I said, ‘Hey man, don’t do anything stupid.’ I hit him once, just before we got to the tire track.He hesitated a bit and then he saw the light, and I hit him again and all of a sudden, he lunged. I went to the wire, I was like, ‘OK, that’s what I want to see.'”

Arabian Knights win the Southwest Stake on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at Oaklawn . Park
Photo: Coady Photography

Arab Knights retreat in the Southwest Diocese at Oaklawn . Park

Thunder placed fourth, followed by the winner of Gun Runner Stakes Jace’s Road in fifth place. Disappointment in his first start in about two turns is second favorite 5-2 corona who, after a slightly late break, sped into the inner ring before weakening to sixth place.

Second-place finishers in fifth place earned qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby on an 8-4-2-1 scale. Calculating points earned in other races, Jace’s Road and Red Route One are fifth and sixth respectively on the Kentucky Derby standings with 15 and 13 points each.

Bred in Kentucky by the Thoroughbred Corser, the Arabian Knight was the first to start from two foals born from mare Astrology has placed northern night . The other pony of the dam is a Quality Sugar ponies born in 2022.

His pricey purchase last year from the Ocala Breeders’ Spring Sale Top Sale for 2-year-olds in Training was made after the pony has been active for a long time. on: 9 4/5. Bloodstock Agent Gary Young, with Baffert sitting beside him, signed a contract to buy ponies at OBS.

Arabian Knights is 2 against 2 with an income of $544,275.



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