Yakteen's Santa Anita Derby 1-2 Finishers On Target For KY Derby - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Yakteen’s Santa Anita Derby 1-2 Finishers On Target For KY Derby

Taiba defeats Messier to win the Santa Anita Derby

In less than two minutes yesterday, Taiba (pronounced Tay-bah) went from a debut maiden sprint winner with zero Kentucky Derby (G1) qualifying points to a Grade 1 winner with 100, becoming a major player in pursuit of the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 7.

All it took was a dramatic 2 ¼-length victory over his stablemate and odds-on favorite Messier in the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1), a performance that earned him a lofty 101 Beyer Speed Figure.

Add this from Daily Racing Form's Jay Privman's DRF twitter account this morning, @DRFPrivman: “Santa Anita Derby chart posted yesterday has incorrect times. Correct, updated times will be :22.75, :46.70, 1:10.97, 1:48.46. This means the opening quarter was faster (in chart a :23.23), middle of race slower (6f in chart 1:10.93), final time faster (chart 1:48.67).

Safe to say, early Sunday morning, the fairytale was still flowering.

“All my runners from yesterday have come out (of their races) in excellent shape,” said trainer Tim Yakteen, who also sent out longshot Armagnac to run fourth behind Taiba.

Taiba, a $1.7 million son of Gun Runner, is owned by Amr Zedan.

“Amr was just over the moon,” Yakteen said in describing the owner's feelings after Taiba's triumph. “All the credit obviously has to go to him (for running the horse), because in my professional opinion, I advised him to take a different route in Taiba's next start.

“But Amr made an educated decision, based on the information that was given him, and it resulted in a big pay day ($450,000 to the winner). All the credit goes to him on this.”

The goal now is to keep Taiba and Messier healthy with the hope that one of them will become the 20th horse to run in the Santa Anita Derby then go on to win the Kentucky Derby.

“That's the plan,” Yakteen said. “Messier is on target. He'll move up from yesterday's race since he had quite a bit of time between starts (two months from his 15-length win in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes [G3] Feb. 6).

“This sets him up perfect for the Derby, and if you look back in history, there were many second-place finishers that ended up winning the Kentucky Derby (the Zedan-owned Medina Spirit, Authentic, and Real Quiet come to mind).

“Messier ran huge and he'll be able to benefit with this race underneath him.”

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