Yakteen Regrouping After Kentucky Derby Defeats Of Taiba, Messier - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Yakteen Regrouping After Kentucky Derby Defeats Of Taiba, Messier

Trainer Tim Yakteen, left, has a moment with Taiba after their victory in the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, Saturday, April 9, 2022 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

Taiba and Messier are back home at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., preparing to fight another day after absorbing one of the greatest upsets in the 148-year history of the Kentucky Derby last Saturday, inflicted by 80-1 shot Rich Strike.

Taiba, sent off at 5.80 to one in the field of 20, finished 12th, beaten nearly 18 lengths, while 7-1 shot Messier was 15th, beaten just over 19 lengths.

“They both made it back to Santa Anita in good shape,” said Tim Yakteen, trainer of the two colts that finished one-two in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 9.

“We'll regroup for their next starts. We'll figure it out over the next couple of weeks and come up with a game plan.

“I was happy my family was able to enjoy it, although we wish we would have run better, but it is what it is. We have two really nice horses and look forward to their next starts.”

While there is no known analyst who gave Rich Strike a pre-race mention, in hindsight, Yakteen pointed out a “horse for course” theory that was overlooked on the son of Keen Ice.

“Horses that show a fondness for Churchill Downs have a tendency to repeat that in big races,” Yakteen observed. “Rich Strike had won a race at Churchill by 18 lengths (actually 17 ¼).

“I know it was a maiden 30 ($30,000 on Sept. 17, 2021), but you can go back and look at other examples. One of the greatest was when Blame beat Zenyatta (in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic).”

In his 13-race career, four of Blame's five races at Churchill resulted in victories, with one third.

“He was a horse that loved Churchill,” Yakteen said.

Ditto for Rich Strike.

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