NEW ORLEANS -- Trainer Bob Baffert will try to make it two Louisiana Derbys in a row, and Bobby Frankel is looking to win the race for the second time in three years.
But while Baffert has Sort It Out and Frankel saddles unbeaten High Limit, trainer Patrick Biancone may send out the most exciting horse in tomorrow's $600,000 race: Scipion, a 3-year-old colt by A.P. Indy who seems to be improving with every stride.
"I think he will be better with every day that passes," Biancone said. "The more he ages, the better he will be. He is a work in progress."
Scipion put on a dazzling show the last time he showed up at the
The victory put Scipion back on the Kentucky Derby trail after three subpar efforts followed a last-to-first maiden win at Saratoga last summer. With the Kentucky Derby seven weeks away, Biancone should learn all he needs to know about his long-striding colt, a $1.9 million yearling purchase by Virginia Kraft Payson, in this key 1 1/16th mile prep.
"How fast he will make improvement, I don't know," said Biancone, who trained 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart. "We are going to have a new indication Saturday, and we'll go from there."
Baffert and Frankel feel the same way. Both are saddling their starters for the first time. Baffert took over for Allen Iwinski after Sort It Out won his third straight race, the Whirlaway at Aqueduct, and Bob McNair's Stonerside Stable bought a majority interest in the horse. Frankel took over for Tony Dutrow, after High Limit won his first two races at Delaware Park by a combined 18 1/2 lengths.