(WHAS11) - Wherever trainer Bob Baffert goes--he seems to hold court. The three time Derby winner is back in the Run for the Roses this year with Santa Anita Derby Winner Pioneerof the Nile.
It's exciting to be here in the Derby with a horse like that. After watching him work today I feel really confident that at least he's going to show up. He's going to run a good race. he's competitive. I'm happy about that.
Baffert has been on the sidelines the last two Derby's--but the signs on his barn indicate the success he's had under the twin spires. His last Derby win was in 2002 with War Emblem but it's his first Derby loss in 1996 that still eats at him.
I can still remember coming here and then getting beat. Was the worst defeat ever in my life. I lived with it for an year and thank God for Silver Charm coming back. I can't imagine being a horse trainer and not winning the Kentucky Derby. It'd hurt if I hadn't of won it since then.
Pioneerof the Nile is Baffert's 18th Derby starter--but each trip to the first Saturday in May holds a special place in his heart.
The Kentucky Derby is the greatest arena in horse racing. It's very emotional. I went to the Derby Museum. We watched that show in there. I got tears in my eyes watching that. It brings back a lot of good memories. It's very emotional race to me. Glad to be back here and have a good horse. Pioneerof the Nile is the morning line co-second choice at 4-1 and is ridden by Garrett Gomez.