If Bob Baffert’s horses were eligible to earn points in Kentucky Derby qualifiers, he would have two colts in the top 10 on the leaderboard.
One of those, Corniche, would be No. 6, with 30 points. But he has not raced since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and has no published works. Newgrange, however, would be at No. 8, with 20 points after wins in the Sham (G3) and Southwest (G3).
The cut-off line to make the starting gate on the first Saturday in May has never been above 40, so Newgrange likely could have made the cut with a runner-up effort in a 50-point race or a third-place finish in a 100 point race.
Baffert is banned from Churchill Downs Inc. tracks for two years, and his horses are ineligible to earn Kentucky Derby points. The Hall of Fame trainer also was suspended for 90 days by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, a penalty that is subject to a court review next week.
Both suspensions stemmed from Medina Spirit’s failed drug test after the Kentucky Derby, and Baffert has been trying to have both suspensions overturned.
Meanwhile, any points his entries would have earned in Derby preps are vacated, meaning nobody else picks them up.
The table below shows what the leaderboard looks like with and without Baffert-trained horses, who are shown in boldface.
|With Baffert||Without Baffert||horse||points||Stakes earnings*|
|10||8||In Due Time||20||$76,800|
|20||16||Tiz the Bomb||10||$661,210|
|21||17||Rattle N Roll||10||$300,000|
|21||18||Make It Big||10||$240,000|
|23||19||Slow Down Andy||10||$184,000|
|27||23||Call Me Midnight||10||$123,500|
|35||30||Life is Great||5||$48,000|
|37||32||Pioneer of Medina||5||$16,000|
|41||36||Tough to Tame||4||$57,750|
|*Now trained by Rodolphe Brisette||*Non-restricted stakes|