Unbeaten $2.3-Million Arabian Knight Off Kentucky Derby Trail – Horse Racing News


Arabian Knight, with John Velazquez aboard, winning the G3 Southwest at Oaklawn

Arabian Knight, the $2.3 million OBS April purchase who was exceedingly impressive winning his only two starts by 12 3/4 lengths, is off the Kentucky Derby trail, according to a Saturday night statement posted on Twitter by owner Zedan Racing.

The Uncle Mo colt was the 6-1 second choice behind champion Forte in this weekend’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager shortly after the Tweet was posted, with $17,688 bet to win on Arabian Knight from a pool of $150,406. This round of the Future Wager continues until 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, March 12.

“Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work and we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush and allow him more time to develop,” the statement said. “We know he’s a superior talent and our plan is to point him toward a summer and fall campaign.”

Arabian Knight won his first two races for trainer Bob Baffert, taking a seven-furlong maiden race by 7 1/4 lengths on the Breeders’ Cup day program at Keeneland last Nov. 5, then rolling to a 5 1/2-length win over a sloppy track going 1 1/16 miles in Oaklawn’s Grade 3 Southwest Stakes Jan. 28.

Because Baffert remains banned from Churchill Downs Inc. properties through this year’s Triple Crown and his horses are unable to earn Kentucky Derby qualifying points, owner Amr Zedan transferred Arabian Knight to Yakteen in order to comply with eligibility conditions of the Kentucky Derby that required any horses trained by Baffert to move to another stable prior to March 1.

Arabian Knight breezed once for Baffert after the Southwest, going three furlongs in :35.60 at Santa Anita on Feb. 13. The colt didn’t work again for 19 days during a rainy period when training and racing at the Southern California track was interrupted because of the wet conditions.

He breezed five furlongs in :59.20 on March 4 after being transferred to Yakteen, then went six furlongs in 1:13.60 on March 9 in his latest move.

Zedan’s Medina Spirit finished first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby but was subsequently disqualified after the corticosteroid betamethasone was detected in post-race testing. Zedan and Baffert have been engaged in litigation with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and Churchill Downs over Medina Spirit’s disqualification and Baffert’s private property exclusion from Churchill tracks.

Bred in Kentucky by Corser Thoroughbreds LLC, Arabian Knight was a $250,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase by Scott and Evan Dilworth, then was consigned by Top Line Sales to the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s April Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training, where bloodstock agent and private clocker Gary Young signed the ticket on behalf of Zedan for $2.3 million.

🚨 Statement from @ZedanRacing: #ArabianKnight is no longer under consideration for the KY Derby. Trainer Tim Yakteen wasn’t happy with his last work & we feel it’s in Arabian Knight’s best interest not to rush & allow him more time to develop. We know he’s a superior talent &… https://t.co/ZxrllmD8F8

— Zedan Racing Stables, Inc (@ZedanRacing) March 12, 2023

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