Bob Baffert transfers Kentucky Derby prospects to ensure they can have a chance to compete for their owners and racing fans

March 24, 2022

 BOB BAFFERT ANNOUNCES TRANSFER OF MESSIER, DOPPELGANGER, MCLAREN VALE, AND BLACKADDER 

 ARCADIA, CA – March 24, 2022 – World-renowned thoroughbred racehorse trainer Bob Baffert announced today the transfer of four of his trained horses – Messier, Doppelganger, McLaren Vale, and Blackadder – allowing them to earn points and compete in upcoming races. The four horses are owned by SF Racing LLC et al. 

Messier, Doppelganger, McLaren Vale, and Blackadder are some of racing’s most exciting colts this year, and we are grateful for Bob’s outstanding training effort with them,” said Tom Ryan of SF Racing LLC. “We salute Bob for making the tough but necessary decision that will allow them to prove themselves as top talents in racing this year.” 

Messier, Doppelganger and McLaren Vale will remain on the West Coast and will be transferred to trainer Tim Yakteen at Yakteen Racing Stables. With Yakteen based in Southern California, this transfer will minimize disruption to the racing and training schedules for these horses. 

Following first place wins at Santa Anita Park in December 2021 and at the El Camino Real Derby in February 2022, Blackadder has been moved from California to Kentucky to train under Rodolphe Brisset and is expected to target an East Coast prep race for the Kentucky Derby

“The most important thing to me is that Messier, Doppelganger, McLaren Vale, and Blackadder – some of the top talents in racing this year – are able to compete,” said Baffert, whose trainees have won Triple Crown races, including the Kentucky Derby, multiple times. 

“I encouraged the owners to move them, not only because it is best for these horses and their future in racing but also for fans of the sport who are excited to watch them run. I know that they are in good hands training with Tim and Rudy, and I look forward to cheering them on,” Baffert added. 

“Churchill has imposed unprecedented unilateral demands and restrictions regarding participation of these horses,” said Baffert attorney Clark O. Brewster of Brewster & De Angelis. “Legal remedies on Bob’s behalf may not be finalized for several months. Therefore, the transfer of training from Bob to Mr. Yakteen will mitigate the losses – at least as they relate to these four horses – during the pendency of the Administrative Agency and Court proceedings.” 

Baffert and his legal team filed a lawsuit against Churchill Downs, CEO Bill Carstanjen, and Board Chair Alex Rankin in federal court in the Western District of Kentucky on March 1, 2022, to overturn Baffert’s unlawful suspension from the property. 

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