The Bob BaffertThe trained 3-year-old beat a talented group of older horses, narrowly winning and earning a free ticket to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 4 in Santa Anita.
Arabian Knight, a $2.3 million purchase for Amr Zedan, was considered the favorite for the race after a spectacular win in a maiden race at last year’s Breeders’ Cup day in Keeneland and a stake win in the slop at Oaklawn this year Kentucky Derby this year. But then he was removed from the Kentucky Derby trail after a lackluster practice session for backup coach Tim Yakteen.
Yakteen, a former Baffert assistant, coached the colt so he could earn Derby qualifying points after Baffert was suspended for two years for a drug violation after Medina Spirit won the Derby in 2021.
After getting swept up the derby trail, he returned to the Baffert barn and finished third in the Haskell Stakes before winning Southern California’s richest race on Saturday.
Geaux Rocket Ride, who qualified for the Classic by winning the Haskell Stakes at Monmouth, was second followed by Slow Down Andy, Senor Buscador, Skinner, Defunded, Piroli, Tripoli, Order and Law and Stilleto. Arabian Knight paid $6.20 to win.