The Bob Baffert Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve resumes Saturday when the Hall of Fame trainer and two-time Triple Crown winner will send out a highly formidable duo in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Yet as much as Baffert’s uncoupled pair are the standouts in a field of seven, it should be an entertaining race with several other entrants who have the credentials to spring an upset in a race that will award 50-20-10-5 qualifying points toward a start in the run for the roses.
1. Life Is Good (4-5 morning-line odds): He’s currently Baffert’s No. 1 Kentucky Derby hopeful and the horse to beat here from the rail. He’s led at each call in his two starts, including a gate-to-wire win in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes, and having the rail gives him a nice edge here. He should be able to control the pace in a race where there is not an abundance of speed horses to run with him early, and that promises to make him tough to reel in during the stretch run.
JOCKEY: Mike Smith; TRAINER: Bob Baffert
2. Dream Shake (5-1): Was an eye-opening debut winner Feb. 7 in fast time at 20-1 odds. He’s in a tough spot for a horse with only one start to his credit, but he has plenty of talent and overlooking him could prove a big mistake.
JOCKEY: Joel Rosario; TRAINER: Peter Eurton
3. Medina Spirit (7-2): The “other” Baffert starter would be a star in most barns. After finishing second to stablemate Life Is Good in the Sham, he won the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes in front-running fashion. The last time the stablemates met, he prompted the pace of Life Is Good from second throughout in the Sham while settling for a fast-closing, runner-up finish. He is definitely a top contender in this field.
JOCKEY: John Velazquez; TRAINER: Bob Baffert
4. None Above the Law (30-1): He was second in a stakes for California-breds in slow race and will need to take a very big step forward to be a factor here.
JOCKEY: Flavien Prat; TRAINER: Peter Miller
5. The Great One (4-1): Has improved quite impressively in his last two starts, losing by a nose as a maiden to the Baffert-trained Spielberg in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity to close out his 2-year-old campaign and then blasting off in 2021 with a 14-length maiden win. Off those last two tries, he can certainly make his presence felt, but this speedy colt will have to contend with Life Is Good and Medina Spirit in the early stages, which could present a big problem.
JOCKEY: Abel Cedeno; TRAINER: Doug O’Neill
6. Govenor’s Party (50-1): His two wins came in a starter race and a maiden claimer and, while he was third at 119-1 odds in the El Camino Real Derby Feb. 13 on an all-weather surface, odds are this will be a very steep uphill climb for him
JOCKEY: Mario Gutierrez; TRAINER: Daniel Franko
7. Roman Centurian (8-1): After a solid maiden win, he ran with some courage to finish second to Medina Spirit by a neck in the Robert B. Lewis. He’s a serious threat, but with his late-running style at this distance he will be dependent upon a quick pace to wind up victorious.
JOCKEY: Juan Hernandez; TRAINER: Simon Callaghan
THE PICK: Life Is Good
LIVE LONGSHOT: Roman Centurian