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Kentucky Derby No Lock for Concert Tour
Concert Tour (Credit: Coady Photography)

Kentucky Derby No Lock for Concert Tour

HOT SPRINGS, AR – Following his first defeat in last Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1), trainer Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour is reportedly no lock to enter the May 1 Kentucky Derby (G1), according to an anonymous source close to the horse’s connections.

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Concert Tour “came out (of the Arkansas Derby) well, but it was very disappointing” to lose as the 1/5 favorite, Baffert told Santa Anita Park’s media department. “It’s a learning process; he’s still pretty immature and we’re still analyzing the race, but he came back in good shape.”

Concert Tour pressed the pacesetting Caddo River but was unable to capitalize in the stretch and finished third behind 12/1 upset specialist Super Stock. The aforementioned source indicated that Concert Tour’s owners/breeders Gary and Mary West (who also owned and bred the infamous Maximum Security) were unhappy with the Street Sense colt’s performance and are considering a respite.

“We’ll see how he works back,” Baffert told Oaklawn Park’s media department immediately following the Arkansas Derby regarding any future plans. “Churchill, I don’t like to run there unless they’re going to be really live. We’ll see how he comes out of this race and see how he trains forward. I didn’t really want a hard race out of it, but we still wanted to win. I’ve won Derbies off of losses. You learn about your horse and see if there is improvement to be made. The horse will tell us.”

Concert Tour won his debut January 15 sprinting at Santa Anita Park and repeated in the one-turn San Vicente Stakes (G2), then shipped to Oaklawn Park and defeated both Caddo River and Super Stock in the Rebel Stakes (G2).

Jockey Joel Rosario, Concert Tour’s regular rider who also piloted Hot Rod Charlie to win the Louisiana Derby (G2), felt that Concert Tour was just beaten by a better horse in the Arkansas Derby.

“Everything was going the right way,” Rosario told Oaklawn Park after the race. “I was happy where I was, following the horse on the lead (Caddo River). I got to him. He kept going, but that horse (Super Stock) came strong on the outside. He tried hard. He was moving good, doing everything right. That horse that won came running today.”

Daily Racing Form’s Jay Privman reported that Flavien Prat will ride Hot Rod Charlie in the Kentucky Derby. The southern California-based rider was aboard for the Doug O’Neill trainee’s most recent work.

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