THOUSAND WORDS–Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s Thousand Words was slated to arrive in Louisville along with his Bob Baffert-trained stablemates around 3 p.m. While the son of Pioneerof the Nile won his first three career starts, including two graded stakes, Thousand Words is among the Kentucky Derby contenders who likely would have had to sit this classic out had it not moved from its usual spot of the first Saturday in May.
After starting his sophomore season with a victory in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (GII) in February, Thousand Words went off form, finishing fourth in the San Felipe Stakes(GII) and 11th in the Oaklawn Stakes on April 11, prompting Baffert to give him a brief freshening.
The mid-spring hiatus served Thousand Woods well as he has regained his top form since returning to the races in July.Following a runner-up effort in the Los Alamitos Derby (GIII), the bay colt defeated Santa Anita Derby (GI) winner Honor A. P.to capture the Aug. 1 Shared Belief Stakes.
“There has not been one positive thing from Covid that I can think of other than it allowed us to run in the Kentucky Derby, because we wouldn’t have deserved to be in the Kentucky Derby in May,” said Jason Loutsch, racing manager for Albaugh Family Stables.
“We would have qualified probably with points but the horse just wasn’t doing well in May and after that Oaklawn race, Bob was really frustrated with him, we were frustrated and as a group, so we decided to just give him 30-45 days and get him happy, put some weight on. And we’re really happy with the way the horse has come around. The last race, we couldn’t be happier with. Obviously Honor A. P. was in there and to compete with those horses and fight and not give up down the lane, that gives us a lot of confidence going into this weekend.”