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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Taiba earns redemption in $1M Pennsylvania Derby (G1)
Saturday, September 24, 2022

Taiba, who narrowly missed to Cyberknife in the Haskell (G1) last month, made amends with a rousing score in Saturday’s $1 million Pennsylvania Derby, the second Grade 1 victory for the 3-year-old Gun Runner colt.

Taiba gave Bob Baffert a record fourth winner of the Pennsylvania Derby, joining Bayern, West Coast and McKinzie.

Taiba, in post 8, hustled to the lead soon after the break, then settled back a bit as White Abarrio and Simplification were intent on getting to the front. That duo led the field through a half-mile in :47.21, with Taiba along the rail in fourth. The positions remain unchanged until midway on the turn, when Taiba made a bold four-wide move for the lead.

Taiba took over in upper stretch and was full of run for jockey Mike Smith as he easily held off the late charge of Zandon to win by three lengths in 1:48.67 for the 1 1/8-miles on a fast track.

“Gun Runner is an unbelievable sire and this guy looks more like Gun Runner than a lot of them,” said Baffert. “I was just so excited watching it. I was not loving it on the backside, but once he tipped out it was like, ‘Wow! Look at this guy!’ We have such a great team and to get rewarded with a win like this makes it all worth it. Fantastic!”

“If all is good, we are going to point to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1),” added Baffert. That race is Nov. 5 at Keeneland.

Taiba is owned by Amr Zedan, who purchased the striking chestnut for $1.7 million out of the 2021 Fasig-Tipton March 2-year-old sale. The colt now has three wins in five starts, including the Santa Anita Derby (G1), and has earned $1,236,200.

 


Baffert 2013