Kentucky Derby notes: Bob Baffert not sure if Concert Tour will run in Derby

John Clay
·5 min read

We’re 19 days from the Kentucky Derby, so here are some notes:

Bob Baffert hasn’t made up his mind whether to start Arkansas Derby 3-10 favorite Concert Tour in the Kentucky Derby after a third-place finish on Saturday.

“We’ll see how he works back,” Baffert said. “Churchill, I don’t like to run there unless they’re going to be really live. We’ll see how he comes out of this race and see how he trains forward. I didn’t really want a hard race out of it, but we still wanted to win. I’ve won Derbys off of losses. You learn about your horse and see if there is improvement to be made. The horse will tell us.”

Arkansas Derby winner Super Stock was in great shape after the win, reports trainer Steve Asmussen. He is expected to arrive at Churchill Downs early this week. He’s owned by Amussen’s father, 79-year-old Keith Asmussen, as well as Erv Woolsey, the manger of country music legend George Strait.

Super Stock gave jockey Keith Asmussen Jr., Steve’s son and Keith’s grandson, his first graded stakes winner in the Texas Futurity at Lone Star Park last year.

Super Stock earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure for the win.

Trainer Kenny McPeek says Lexington Stakes winner King Fury will run in the Preakness on May 15 if he can’t get into the Kentucky Derby on May 1. Currently, King Fury’s 20 points are not enough to crack the 20-horse field.

“All good; we are real proud of him,” McPeek said. “If his points get him in to the Kentucky Derby, we will probably run. It is his home track and he has won there. If he doesn’t get in the Derby, he will run in the Preakness (on May 15.) He seems like a horse that is ready to do all that. We will have to see how that ball bounces. It is out of our control, but we will keep his work schedule the same.”

King Fury earned a 95 Beyer for the win.

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman on King Fury’s effort in the Lexington: “As of the morning after the Lexington, he’s a bubble horse for the Derby, needing some help to get in, but several in the top 20 are not certain to run, and there’s often attrition as the race nears, so he bears watching. He’s 2-for-3 at Churchill, his only loss there the one time he wore blinkers, in the Kentucky Jockey Club. And he’s 3-for-5 with (jockey Brian Hernandez), who put up another sensational, ground-saving ride here.”

TwinSpires handicapper Ed DeRosa has Blue Grass Stakes winner Essential Quality as the 7-2 favorite for May 1. “The combination of his unblemished record, fast times, local trainer and color (gray) will all add up to a large amount of public support,” DeRosa said in a TwinSpires press release.

DeRosa has Hot Rod Charlie, Highly Motivated and Rock Your World at 8-1.

DeRosa’s numbers:

  • Essential Quality 7/2

  • Hot Rod Charlie 8/1

  • Rock Your World 8/1

  • Highly Motivated 8/1

  • Known Agenda 12/1

  • Concert Tour 12/1

  • Super Stock 14/1

  • Medina Spirit 18/1

  • Midnight Bourbon 20/1

  • Mandaloun 20/1

  • Like The King 30/1

  • Bourbonic 30/1

  • Soup and Sandwich 30/1

  • Dynamic One 30/1

  • Caddo River 30/1

  • Helium 40/1

  • Crowded Trade 40/1

  • Sainthood 40/1

  • Others 50/1+

Reinier Macatangay of Horse Racing Nation on the top three finishers in the Arkansas Derby — Super Stock, Caddo River and Concert Tour: “In other words, all three horses are probably too slow in terms of the Kentucky Derby win spot. Concert Tour did not move forward with an expected breakthrough performance, while Caddo River and Super Stock only went forward enough to become part of the Derby crowd in the 115-119 range on TimeformUS rather than standing out among the 3-year-olds.”

Midnight Bourbon breezed 5 furlongs in 1:00 2/5 on Sunday at Churchill Downs. Trained by Steve Asmussen, the son of Tiznow ran second in the Louisiana Derby to Hot Rod Charlie.

Soup and Sandwich worked a half-mile in :48 4/5 on Sunday at Churchill Downs. Soup and Sandwich finished second in the Florida Derby. He’s a son of Into Mischief, sire of last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, Authentic. Soup and Sandwich is trained by Mark Casse.

Jackie’s Warrior is expected to run in the Pat Day Mile for trainer Steve Asmussen on Kentucky Derby Day. Jackie’s Warrior was the betting favorite in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before finishing fourth. He finished third in the Southwest Stakes in his only 2021 start.

After finishing fifth in the Wood Memorial, Brooklyn Strong is now being considered for the Federico Tesio on April 24 at Laurel Park as a tuneup for the Preakness on May 1, according to trainer Danny Velazquez.

The exclusive training period for Kentucky Derby probables starts April 17 at Churchill Downs. Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Derby and Kentucky Oaks horses will exclusively have the track for 15 minutes.

Jose Ortiz won five of his six mounts at Aqueduct on Sunday. Ortiz is scheduled to ride Wood Memorial runner-up Dynamic One in the Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby leaderboard, prep race results and schedule

King Fury wins Lexington Stakes, and a Triple Crown start is in his future

Kentucky Derby news and notes ahead of Arkansas Derby, Lexington Stakes

Calumet’s 72-1 shot, a turf horse and a runner-up enter the Kentucky Derby picture