Mor Spirit Can Give Baffert Fifth Kentucky Derby Victory

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has been flying under the radar this week in Louisville, but has a legitimate shot of picking up his fifth Kentucky Derby victory when he saddles Mor Spirit.

Baffert first won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm in 1997, won the following year with Real Quiet, and again in 2002 with War Emblem. Last year he won with American Pharoah, who went on to win the Triple Crown, the first in nearly four decades.

Mor Spirit is currently at betting odds of 12-1 and comes into the race off back-to-back losses to contenders he faces again on Saturday.

The colt ran second to Danzing Candy in the San Felipe (G2) where he had to steady off heels on the first turn and was only beaten two lengths.

In the Santa Anita Derby (G1) he caught a muddy surface that the winner Exaggerator seemed to like as he drew away to win by 6 ¼ lengths.

Baffert knows how to get his runners to fire their best on the first Saturday of May, and this colt could turn the tables and at a generous price.

In the irons will be Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens, who has won the Run for the Roses three times and nine Triple Crown races in his career.

After being the beaten favorite in his last two starts, it seems likely Stevens will attempt to get this colt to sit a bit closer to what could be a moderate early pace.

The race does not have many runners that are confirmed speed horses and there is an abundance of horses that come from far off the pace. If Stevens can get a good position in fourth or fifth, he will get the jump on the late closers and that could be enough to make the difference.

The colt has a run over the main track at Churchill Downs, a second in the slop in the Kentucky Jockey Club last fall.

The Baffert trainee has been working well in the last couple of weeks with a couple of solid drills over the main track at Churchill Downs.

This colt is definitely worth a look if he goes off near his 12-1 morning line.

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