Inexperience, rain in the forecast for Kentucky Derby

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Bob Baffert is seeking a fifth victory in the Kentucky Derby and he’s got the favorite, too.

Justify is the early 7-2 favorite for Saturday’s 144th Run for the Roses that features a full field of 20 colts. Baffert trains Justify, who has just three starts, and longshot Solomini.

Kentucky Derby: What Time, Where to Watch, Horses, Post Times

Justify, along with undefeated Magnum Moon, didn’t race as 2-year-olds. They’ll be trying to disprove an old jinx: No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won without racing as a juvenile.

Todd Pletcher will saddle four horses: Audible, the co-third choice at 6-1, along with longshots Magnum Moon, Vino Rosso and Noble Indy.

History would be written if Ireland-based Mendelssohn pulls off a victory. No European colt has ever won the Derby.

The forecast calls for a chance of rain at various times Saturday. Post time is 6:46 p.m. ET.

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.