Bob Baffert Duo Early Kentucky Derby Favorites

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is no stranger to the Kentucky Derby, a three-time winner of the Run for the Roses. Baffert won the Kentucky Derby back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 with Silver Charm and Real Quiet and again in 2002 with War Emblem.

He is looking to end his drought of no Derby winner in over a decade and has two Kentucky Derby contenders this year, and the duo are currently the early betting favorites.

American Pharoah is currently the favorite at Kentucky Derby betting odds of 10-1 despite his three-year-old debut not coming until next month.

The colt won two of three starts last year, taking the Del Mar Futurity and the Frontrunner, both Grade 1 wins, and he would have been the betting favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile except for a foot issue that came up just days before the race.

The colt put in a three-furlong work on Feb. 9 and is likely to be seen next in the $750,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park on March 14. The $400,000 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita is also an option for the colt.

Baffert also has the undefeated Dortmund in his shed row. The son of 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown is perfect in four career starts including winning the Robert B. Lewis (G3) last Saturday at Santa Anita by a head over Firing Line.

The colt made his stakes debut in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) on Dec. 20 and defeated Firing Line by a head in that victory as well. He is currently the co-second choice in early Kentucky Derby betting at 12-1, but certainly looks like a better option than Texas Red, who he shares second choice honors with.

Texas Red has come down with a foot abscess and will miss a couple of weeks of training. The colt was being pointed toward the $400,000 Risen Star (G3) at Fair Grounds on Feb. 21. Now his connections will likely target either the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (G1) or the April 11 Arkansas Derby (G1) for a final prep race.

Dortmund moved up to third in the Derby points standings with 20 points, and likely will make just one more start before heading to Louisville. Baffert said the Santa Anita Derby would likely be his final prep for the Run for the Roses.

The next Derby points race comes up on Saturday with a field of 10 lining up for the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (G3) at Golden Gate Fields.

Conquest Typhoon, who is currently at 35-1 in early Kentucky Derby wagering, is the likely betting favorite. The colt won the Cecil B. Demille (G3) on grass at Del Mar in his last outing on Nov. 30.

California Cup Derby winner Mischief Clem and recent first level optional claimer winner Indianaughty figure to take some betting action.

Mr. Z will be in action on Monday in the $300,000 Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park with 10 Derby points up for grabs for the winner. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the colt has won just one of nine starts but has landed in the money in five stakes races including most recently a third in the Smarty Jones Stakes. He is at Kentucky Derby betting odds of 45-1.

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