Derby points update: Another “pointless” Baffert win

American Sailor
Messier. Photo Benoit Photo/Santa Anita.

“In an absolutely sensational performance, Messier served notice to the racing world that he will be a major player in any Derby, anywhere in 2022,” begins the press release from Santa Anita.

Just not the Derby that’s run at Churchill Downs.

That’s because the Bob Baffert-trained Messier is not eligible to receive Derby points or to run in the Kentucky Derby because Baffert and all his horses are in the Churchill penalty box this year.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

Baffert-trained runners have now posted victories in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (20 Derby  points to the winner), American Pharoah Stakes (10), Sham Stakes (10), Southwest Stakes (60), and Sunday’s Robert B. Lewis, the race Messier won in such sensational fashion.

In addition to his win in the Lewis, Messier would also have four additional points for his runner-up effort in the Los Alamitos Futurity in December. Those 14 points would have him tied for first, except, of course, that another Baffert-trained runner, Corniche, would have 30 for his wins in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and American Pharoah.

For good measure, Wharton, another from Baffert’s powerful operation, finished third, which would have been good for two points.

[Click here for our Triple Crown Video page with video of every North American points race.]

The two horses in the race that did earn points were runner-up Cabo Spirit (4 points), trained by George Papaprodromou, and the Simon Callaghan-trained Sir London (1 point), who was fourth. 

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The results of the weekend’s Derby prep races — two preps were contested Saturday — left the very top of the Derby points leaderboard unchanged. Pappacap and Epicenter remained tied with 14 points each.


1Pappacap (FL) / T: Mark Casse / O: Buttonwood Farm Inc.14
2Epicenter (KY) / T: Steve Asmussen / O: Westwind Farms14
3White Abarrio (KY) / T: Saffie Joseph Jr. / O: C2 Racing Stable LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC12
4Mo Donegal (KY) / T: Todd Pletcher / O: Donegal Racing12
5Smile Happy (KY) / T: Kenny McPeek / O: Lucky Seven Stable10
6Slow Down Andy (CA) / T: Doug O’Neill / O: Reddam Racing LLC10
7Rattle N Roll (KY) / T: Kenny McPeek / O: Lucky Seven Stable10
8Make It Big (FL) / T: Saffie Joseph Jr. / O: Red Oak Stable10
9Major General (KY) / T: Todd Pletcher / O: WinStar Farm LLC and CHC Inc10
10Jack Christopher (KY) / T: Chad Brown / O: Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud & Peter Brant10
11Early Voting (KY) / T: Chad Brown / O: Klaravich Stables Inc.10
12Dash Attack (KY) / T: Kenny McPeek / O: Catalyst Stable, Magdalena Racing, Kevin Pollard & Patty Slevin10
13Courvoisier (KY) / T: Kelly Breen / O: Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings & James Spry10
14Call Me Midnight (KY) / T: Keith Desormeaux / O: Peter Cantrell10
15Barber Road (KY) / T: John Ortiz / O: WSS Racing LLC8
16Commandperformance (KY) / T: Todd Pletcher / O: Repole Stable & St. Elias Stable6
17Classic Causeway (KY) / T: Brian Lynch / O: Kentucky West Racing LLC & Clarke Cooper6
Numerous tied with 4 points each.