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Old 04-23-2003, 09:23 PM
gradysfalcon gradysfalcon is offline
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Default Indian Express, Kafwain Breeze In Company For Baffert

KAFWAIN/INDIAN EXPRESS/SENOR SWINGER - Trainer Bob Baffert's duo of primary Kentucky Derby contenders - The Thoroughbred Corporation's Kafwain and Phil Chess' Indian Express - breezed six furlongs in company on Wednesday. Kafwain, winner of the San Vicente (GII) and third in the Santa Anita Derby (GI), completed the distance in 1:13.20 under jockey Sal Gonzalez. Indian Express, the runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (GI), was clocked in 1:13.40 under exercise rider Dana Barnes. "It was a nice work," said Baffert. "They're not known to be very good work horses, so I worked them together. I brought some horses to work with them, but I just decided to work them together. The surface wasn't as glib as it has been, so it was a good work for them. It (the track) was soft and they got a lot out of it." Baffert was especially pleased by the effort by Kafwain, which was his first work since the Santa Anita Derby. The Cherokee Run colt became ill after that race and had missed nine days of training. "Kafwain needed a nice stiff, hard work and I think we accomplished that," he said. "He was probably blowing harder than the other horse (Indian Express). He never really tries very hard in the morning, that horse. Dana said he was bouncing off the track after that work." Baffert said he hopes that Wednesday's work by Kafwain means that the colt has "caught up" from the training he missed while on the sidelines. "He looks good," said Baffert. "He's not knocked out. He blew for a little bit, but that's what we wanted. We're tightening the screws. He's tough. He's the kind of horse that everybody forgets about him. He's been an overachiever. He's a very talented horse, but he has a huge heart - he tries so hard every time and never gives up." Baffert expects Indian Express to be a pace factor in Derby 129. "He's a very talented horse," said Baffert. "I have a young rider on him in Tyler Baze and he's going to be very nervous and all, so I'm going to tell him to ride him like he did at Santa Anita: just get him out there and go and take him as far as you can. That's all you can do." Baffert's duo will not be among the favorites for Kentucky Derby 129, but he came in under the media's radar to win last year's Kentucky Derby with War Emblem. "I think I'm much lower this year," Baffert laughed. "I'd rather come in here with the big guns, but they're nice horses. And I've come in here with big guns and gotten beat. I've been on both ends." Baffert also holds out the slim possibility that Robert and Beverly Lewis' Senor Swinger, fifth in the Wood Memorial (GI) in his first race for Baffert, could run in the Kentucky Derby. The colt worked on the turf on Tuesday and Baffert said he would most likely run in the Crown Royal American Turf (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day, but he refused to rule out a Derby bid. "Right now I'm leaning toward the Crown Royal - unless something happens," he said. "This picture changes every day. Every time you wake up somebody's either joined or dropped off, so you never know."
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