Taiba To Skip Met Mile, Baffert To Wait For Del Mar - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Taiba To Skip Met Mile, Baffert To Wait For Del Mar

Mike Smith guides Taiba to victory in the 2022 Malibu (G1)

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Zedan Racing Stables' multiple Grade 1 winner Taiba will skip Saturday's $1-million Hill 'n' Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park.

Taiba worked seven-furlongs in 1:27.40 Friday at Santa Anita in what was to be his final prep for the one-turn mile for 3-year-olds and up which offers a “Win and You're In” berth to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) in November at the Arcadia, California oval. He has not raced since an eighth-place effort in the Saudi Cup (G1) on February 25 at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.

“His works have been good, but not like I'd like to see them. I just don't think he's ready for something like that yet,” said Baffert, who won the 2017 Metropolitan with Mor Spirit. “I'm going to wait and run him at Del Mar. He's doing well, but not well enough for the Met Mile. To run in the Met Mile, you have to bring your 'A' game and I don't think he's quite there yet.”

The 4-year-old Gun Runner colt's trio of Grade 1 scores came in the Santa Anita Derby last April, the Pennsylvania Derby in September at Parx, and the Malibu in December at Santa Anita.

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