Bob Baffert’s Nadal Looking Strong Ahead of Kentucky Derby


Trainer Bob Baffert has a major player for the Kentucky Derby (G1) with Nadal. Photo credit: Breeders’ Cup Ltd.)

Famed American horse trainer Bob Baffert looks to have found another promising Kentucky Derby hopeful. Baffert’s latest charge, Nadal, aced his debut race at Santa Anita Racetrack over the weekend. Horse racing fans and punters in the US are debating whether or not Baffert has found a new gem. Baffert is a five-time winner of the Kentucky Derby and knows his horses. Fans and punts can find the latest bet bonuses and best odds for horse betting sites comparator in the US before wagering on the horse they believe will win the derby.

Nadal is considered a rising star on the racetrack and is one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby in May. The Baffert-trained horse started the race slowly giving his competitors a head start. Yet, despite falling behind out of the gate, Nadal made up ground and then some to overtake his competitors and win.

The speedster had initially been set to debut last spring with plenty of talk over his quality. However, an injury setback prevented Nadal from taking to the racetrack until Sunday, January 19.

Who is Nadal?

Nadal is Baffert’s latest three-year-old gem and contender to potentially win the Kentucky Derby. Baffert is a five-time Kentucky Derby winner and despite Nadal’s lack of races, knows how to get the best out of the animals in his stable.

Currently, Nadal is not listed for anymore build-up races to the Kentucky Derby. Baffert could take the youngster straight to Louisville for the Run for the Roses. The trainer last won the Kentucky Derby in 2018 with Justify. The horse went on to win the Triple Crown in one of the most magical seasons in American thoroughbred racing history.

Although punters may be worried about Nadal not running his first race until January, less than four months until the Kentucky Derby, it should be remembered that Justify was also a late starter. In 2018, Justify didn’t run his first race until February. The horse’s freshness may have been part of the reason the Triple Crown was won that year.

Can Nadal win the Kentucky Derby?

Nadal is at antepost odds of 16/1 to win the Kentucky Derby. It is currently the second-best odds with the race a little less than four months away. Despite waiting longer than originally expected, Nadal can certainly win the Run for the Roses in May.

Baffert was initially set to debut the horse in April of last year. However, an injury occurred during transportation from Santa Anita to Del Mar preventing Nadal from debuting in the spring/summer of 2019.

It was originally feared that Nadal had broken his leg or ankle after getting “his hind leg over the divider” during shipping. Fortunately, there were no breaks, but Baffert shelved the horse for nearly three months allowing him to fully recover.

The end of September saw Nadal back in training and Baffert has been building him up for the derby ever since. If Nadal can win the Kentucy Derby 2020, Baffert will achieve the all-time record for wins at the famed American race.

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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