It was a rare sight to see a horse trained by Bob Baffert running on the turf and an even rare sight to see one win, but if Bob proved anything yesterday, it's that he can win.
DU JOUR is owned by Natalie Baffert and her friend, Debbie Lanni, He surged to the front at the sixteenth pole to win by 1 ½ lengths in the $500,000 American Turf presented by Derby City Gaming (G2) for 3 year olds.
While Baffert only has eight turf wins, this was his second American Turf win. SENOR SWINGER won it for him 2003.
EXCELLENT TIMING set the pace and WINFROMWITHIN tracked third with DU JOUR following. Coming off the far turn heading into the stretch, WINFROMWITHIN was sent through an opening and surged to the front. DU JOUR followed and tipped to the outside was able to surge to the front and draw clear at the sixteenth pole. LUCKY LAW (IRE) followed in second with WINFROMWITHIN finishing third.
"The key was getting him to relax down inside. I actually sent him quite a bit out of the gate and then it's always a question of if they can come back to you after that. It felt like they were going a good clip up front and that helped him to relax too. He traveled well and when I asked him to split horses, he did it nice," said jockey Flavien Prat.
Baffert commented in the press conference that, "These turf horses are easier to train. You don't have to train them very hard. We tried to make a dirt horse out of him and he wasn't that good. Mike Smith rode him and said I think he likes the turf. I'm really excited about it. And I'm just so happy for Jill. She has to deal with me as a trainer, and all the ups and downs. For that horse to win today, and to listen to her excitement, now she has something that's hers."
DU JOUR is a son of TEMPLE CITY out of GUILTLESS, by BERNARDINI. He increased his earnings to $375,220 with a record of 5-3-1-1 with his first stakes victory.