Indian Charlie has trainer Bob Baffert in a Silver Charm mood.
"I have the same confidence I had with Silver Charm," Baffert said on a rainy Thursday at Churchill Downs.Indian Charlie, unbeaten in four races including the Santa Anita Derby on April 11, was the 2-1 early favorite to win Baffert's second straight Kentucky Derby on Saturday. If it happens, however, it won't be as sweet for Baffert as Silver Charm's win.
The 45-year-old Baffert came to his first Derby in 1996 with Sem-o-ran and Cavonnier. Semoran finished 14th, but Cavonnier lost by the shortest of noses when he was nipped in the final stride by Grindstone.
"When I got beat, I was sick about it," Baffert said. "It was devastating, like a loss in the family. Last year, it was a personal thing. I wanted to win."
Silver Charm, who also won the Preakness last year and the $4 million Dubai World Cup in March, is training at Churchill Downs and is stabled in stall 30 in barn 33. Indian Charlie, owned by his breeder, Hal Earhardt, and John Gaines, is in stall 31. In stall 27 is Real Quiet, the one-run horse Baffert calls his Derby insurance.
Real Quiet closed to finish second a head behind Derby starter Artax in the San Felipe and 21/4 lengths behind Indian Charlie in the Santa Anita Derby.