Saturday Insights: Baffert Unveils $2.3M Arabian Knight, The Return Of Messier, And More On Breeders' Cup Undercard

Arabian Knight tops the 2022 OBS Spring Sale | Judit Seipert

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1st-KEE, $150K, Msw, 2yo, 7f, 10:30 a.m.
After working an eighth of a mile in a blazing :9 4/5, ARABIAN KNIGHT (Uncle Mo) achieved a final bid of a sale-topping $2.3 million from Zedan Racing Stables at this year's OBS April Sale after fetching $250,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. The first foal out of a half-sister to MGSP Kinsley Kisses (Congrats), the bay posted a trio of speedy works on the west coast leading up to his debut including six furlongs from the gate in 1:12 (2/5) Oct. 23 and a five-furlong drill in 1:00 (6/39) Oct. 29. Also taking to the track in the afternoon for the first time Saturday is the Brad Cox trained Rocket and Roll (Bolt d'Oro), himself a $675,000 purchase and the third-highest price out of the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale. His dam, who has produced six winners from as many to make the races, is a daughter of champion grass mare Soaring Softly (Kris S.) and hails from the family of GISW Plenty of Grace (Roberto) and GSW & MGISP Recepta (Speightstown). Rocket and Roll sold twice as a yearling–first for $65,000 at Fasig-Tipton July and for $90,000 a few weeks later at KEESEP. TJCIS PPS

2nd-KEE, $195K, Aoc, 3yo/up, 6 1/2f, 11:05 a.m.
Last seen trailing home longshot winner Rich Strike (Keen Ice) in this year's GI Kentucky Derby, MESSIER (Empire Maker) makes his return to the track back under the tutelage of Bob Baffert. Named a 'TDN Rising Star' for his 6 1/2-length maiden-breaking win, he went on to claim the GIII Bob Hope S. and finished out his juvenile campaign with a narrow loss to Slow Down Andy (Nyquist) in the GII Los Alamitos Futurity. He blew the doors to his 3-year-old year wide open with a 15-length romp in the GIII Robert B. Lewis S. Feb. 6 before joining trainer Tim Yakteen to finish second behind stablemate and GI Breeders' Cup Classic contender Taiba (Gun Runner) in the GI Santa Anita Derby Apr. 9. Transferred back to Baffert following his distant finish at Churchill Downs, Messier makes his first start Saturday in six months with regular rider John Velazquez aboard. TJCIS PPS

1st-AQU, $85K, Msw, 2yo, f, 1 1/16mT, 10:50 a.m.
   The second foal to make the races out of MGISW I'm A Chatterbox (Munnings), JUNIPER'S MOON (Galileo {Ire}) makes her first start Saturday for trainer Anthony Dutrow. A $725,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by J.R. International Holdings, the chestnut worked four furlongs from the gate in :48.4 (9/33) Oct. 31 and gets Kendrick Carmouche in the irons. Breaking one gate further out, Natural Beauty (Blame) debuts for Christophe Clement and owner Cheyenne Stable. Herself a $525,000 yearling, she is the first foal out of a half-sister to MGSW Blamed (Blame). TJCIS PPS

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