The Brock Talk

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pioneerof The Nile Answers Big Question

On the morning after being named to the Racing Hall of Fame, trainer Bob Baffert got a congratulatory effort from Pioneerof the Nile by working five furlongs (5/8 of a mile) in 1:00.8 over a deeper and drying out Churchill Downs racetrack. Exercise rider Joe Steiner continued to urge Pioneerof the Nile around the turn to finish a six furlong work in 1:13.52.

"It was a stiff work but wasn't hard on him," Baffert said. "And I loved the way he went. He just skipped over the surface."

That appears to answer any doubt of whether he likes the Churchill Downs surface or not. I say "appears", because the race will tell the true story. But this work was a very positive sign. Baffert has won the Derby three times with Silver Charm in '97, Real Quite in '98 and War Emblam in 2002.

Tuesday morning also featured works from Derby horses I Want Revenge, Chocolate Candy, and Flying Private. 2007 Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel picked up the mount on Mine That Bird who arrived at Churchill Downs from Dallas-Fort Worth today.

For more information on today's works go to


Anonymous said...

Brock, you gotten love Pioneer with all the Tucson connections, and wouldn't it be ironic to have Zayet win a derby before the shiek. I've gotta put this horse on the top of my list. Pete

Unknown said...

He gets better looking as a top selection with each passing day. I dismissed Baffert's bragging in 2002 before the Derby and lost out on a War Emblem ticket. I think taking Pioneerof the Nile over the shiek Mohammed's Gandolfin entry of Desert Party and Regal Ransom is a good bet. I'm still not convinced a horse can come into the Kentucky Derby off of the UAE Derby (gr. 1). A lot of people disagree, including ESPN's Randy Moss, whose handicapping skills I respect a great deal. Churchill Downs' John Asher also lists him as his top choice now as well.