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By Jarrod Horak

This is my final Kentucky Derby 2024 report for January. In this post, I will look back at the Grade 3 Lecomte and update my “Exceptional 11” Derby contenders. The Derby trail really heats up this week with four points races on Feb. 3 (Holy Bull, Robert Lewis, Southwest, Withers).

In a major Derby development, none of Bob Baffert’s runners will be competing in the 2024 Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs extended Baffert’s Derby ban through this year, and it was widely expected that he would transfer his top Derby hopefuls to other barns prior to Churchill’s Jan. 29 deadline. That date came and went, and none of Baffert’s runners moved to other barns. In 2022 and 2023, Baffert’s top Derby contenders moved to the Tim Yakteen shedrow. This time, owners opted to stick with Baffert in a major snub to Churchill. His runners are eligible to compete in the Preakness and Belmont.

My list gets a major shakeup due to the Baffert situation. Three of his runners were part of my “Exceptional 11” Derby list (Nysos, Muth, Pilot Commander), and three others (Coach Prime, Imagination, Prince of Monaco) were part of my “Next Nine.”

Read more at Today’s Racing Digest

Jarrod Horak

Jarrod Horak posts stakes recaps from Del Mar and Santa Anita Park, along with full card recaps and free stakes picks from Southern and/or Northern California.