Cupid Taking American Pharoah Route
Can Bob Baffert be thinking the same thing as last year? Can American Pharoah’s success be duplicated using the same path as last year? The son of Tapit has all the intangibles to step up and be just as good if not better then American Pharoah but is the quality of horses better this year? Nyquist has proven himself to be the best 3 year old at this point and time but other west coast trainers see the formula Baffert uses and don’t think Tapit is that kind of horse. He has not faced the quality that Nyquist has, that being said he might have the ability and tactics but not just yet.
Until Cupid can look a horse in the eye and keep going he’s still untested and will be until the Kentucky Derby. He will be the 6th post time favorite in the Arkansas Derby for Baffert, he’s had 2 wins one with Bodemeister and American Pharoah. Since Cupid has stepped up to 2 turns he’s found a new dimension in his game. He’s not really a sprinter but has the cruising speed of a sprinter. It’s all about moving forward and Bob Baffert is good at managing 3 year olds in training.
The field he’s facing is stronger this time, American Pioneer was a ultra impressive winner last out breaking his maiden and could be the real deal, Dazzling Gem is undefeated in 2 starts at Oaklawn and floats over this surface. Suddenbreakingnews had all kinds of traffic problems in the Rebel, this could be his coming out party, so Cupid is not a sure thing here.
Cupid has a tendency to be a high strung horse, Baffert realized this early on and worked with him to relax in the gate and during the race. The 10 post should not hurt him much in the Arkansas Derby, this is the last prep for the Kentucky Derby, there will be horses vying for the lead, Martin Garcia is not going to hurt him before the Derby, it might be a cat and mouse game at the start. Baffert really likes this colt, and that’s saying a lot. He’s done everything right and is healthy this race is a tune up (he needs a race) before the Kentucky Derby.
#6 Unbridled Outlaw comes off a maiden win for Dale Romans, this horse is intriguing enough to use in the exotics he’s 10-1 morning line with Corey Lanerie up. He’s compact but looks like he’s got a few gears in him, will definitely move forward but not sure how much he can with this type of talent. There might be a lot of late developing 3 year olds in this crop and Cupid is on that list.