Baffert Back to Louisville Monday for Improbable

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2:47 pm

Improbable will likely ship from Churchill Downs to Pimlico three days in advance of the May 18 Preakness Stakes, according to Bob Baffert.

“He’s walked four days, and he’ll go back to the track tomorrow,” said Baffert at Santa Anita. “I fly back to Louisville Sunday and I’ll watch him train Monday.  If I’m happy with what I see, then he goes…I don’t want to be chasing any ghosts. He’s got to be enjoying himself and have that desire.”

Will Improbable have a recorded breeze prior to the Preakness?

“I’ll know Monday. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.”  

When asked about the announced switch to Mike Smith for the Preakness, Baffert responded with a wry grin, “The other guys didn’t do anything wrong, but Mike and I have had a little luck together.” Jose Ortiz rode Improbable in the Arkansas Derby. Irad Ortiz, Jr. had the Derby mount.

Last year’s Preakness, in which Baffert and Smith teamed for victory with eventual undefeated Triple Crown Champion Justify, was run over a sloppy main track, as was this year’s and last year's Kentucky Derby.

“I’d like to run on a dry track, for once in my life,” Baffert quipped. “You never know though, and you can’t worry about it. Bode will tell me. He never misses.”

This morning at Churchill Downs, Improbable walked the shedrow for the fourth day since the Derby. He's scheduled to return to the track on Thursday.

Edited release