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Taiba, Cave Rock lead Baffert’s Breeders’ Cup quintet
Monday, October 31, 2022

Bob Baffert, the all-time leading Breeders’ Cup winner by money won with more than $38 million in purses, will send out five runners in the 2022 renewal to run Friday and Saturday at Keeneland.

Friday’s card features the 2-year-olds, with Baffert’s first runner coming in the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) when undefeated Speed Boat Beach breaks from post 11 in the 12-horse field. Speed Boat Beach, owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, won his debut on the dirt at Del Mar, then took the Speakeasy S. on the Santa Anita turf on Oct. 2. He’ll be ridden by Flavien Prat.

Baffert holds a strong hand in the $2 million Juvenile with odds-on favorite Cave Rock and Grade 1-placed National Treasure. Cave Rock, owned by the same connections as Speed Boat Beach, has been brilliant in his three starts, winning by a combined 16 ½-lengths, including victories in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and American Pharoah S. (G1). National Treasure was a game runner-up in the American Pharoah.

On Saturday, Laurel River brings a three-race winning streak into the Dirt Mile (G1), topped by his Aug. 27 win in the Pat O’Brien S. (G2), when he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 108. Owned by his breeder Juddmonte Farms, Laurel River will break from post 6 with rider Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Baffert, already a record four-time winner of the $6 million Classic (G1), will try for his fifth with the two-time Grade 1 winner Taiba. The 3-year-old colt, owned by Zedan Racing Stable, drew the inside post in the field of eight. Taiba won both the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) this year, and will be ridden by Mike Smith. The Classic runs at 5:40 p.m. ET.

Baffert 2013