The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday and for the first time since 2017, trainer Bob Baffert will not have an entry in this year’s race.
Baffert, who has officially trained six Derby champs, is banned from this year’s running. Only twice since 2009 has Baffert not had an entry in the Kentucky Derby.
Medina Spirit, the original 2021 champion who Baffert trained, was stripped of his title when a doping test found he had an illegal steroid in his system.
Baffert has protested the Derby removing Medina Spirit as champion.
Medina Spirit continued racing after the incident, but died of a heart attack last December.
With Baffert now facing a two-year ban from Churchill Downs, the top three favorites in the Derby belong to trainers looking for their first Kentucky Derby victories. The favorite, Zandon, faces 3-to-1 odds. Zandon is trained by Chad C. Brown, whose only Triple Crown victory came in 2017 at the Preakness Stakes.
Behind Zandon is Epicenter, who is trained by Steve Asmussen, who faces 7-to-1 odds. Asmussen trained Lookin' at Lee in 2018 to a second-place finish at the Kentucky Derby.
Brad H. Cox, who trained last year’s declared Kentucky Derby champion Manaloun, has three entries in this year’s race, including Cyberknife and Zoros, who both face 20-to-1 odds.