Archives for May 4, 2022

Industry Profile. Trainer Tim Yakteen brings 2 star horses to Kentucky Derby 148

“It’s like having a lottery ticket sort of fall in your lap,” he said. “Now we’re trying to cash it.”

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Tim Yakteen has been to the Kentucky Derby with good horses before. Now the trainer is at Churchill Downs in charge for the first time with two top contenders that used to be trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.

Tim Yakteen brings 2 top horses to 1st Ky Derby in chargeYakteen worked two different stints earlier in his career as an apprentice under Baffert, who won’t be at the Derby on Saturday because he’s serving a 90-day suspension imposed by Kentucky racing officials. The six-time Derby winner also has been banned for two years by Churchill Downs Inc.

It may seem uncomfortable to most everyone except Yakteen.

“I wouldn’t say that I think that there’s any awkwardness there,” he said. “I just feel really lucky and fortunate.”

A surprised Yakteen took calls from the owners of Messier and Taiba asking him to train their budding stars.

“I was honored they had the confidence that I could continue to carry the torch,” he said, perched on a trunk near Messier’s stall in his Santa Anita barn.

Baffert relinquished the colts to serve the punishment handed down after last year’s Derby winner, Medina Spirit, tested positive for an anti-inflammatory medication that isn’t allowed on race day.

Baffert’s suspension bars him from Santa Anita and Yakteen said they’ve had no conversations since he took charge of Messier, the early 8-1 third choice in the Derby, and Taiba, a 12-1 shot… more on Trainer Tim Yakteen at www.thestar.com

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