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Former assistant beats Baffert in Los Alamitos Futurity


The New York Racing Association suspended trainer Bob Baffert for one year Thursday for repeated medication violations. With time served, he will be eligible to saddle horses in New York again Jan. 26. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - Trainer Tim Yakteen got the best of his former boss, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity, with 10-1 shot Practical Move winning by 3 1/4 lengths.

Practical Move earned 10 points on the 2023 Kentucky Derby leaderboard, which determines the 20-horse field for the May 6 race.

Baffert saddled 60% of the field in seeking his eighth Futurity win in the nine years it has been run at Los Alamitos. He settled for second, third and fifth with his trio of Carmel Road, Fort Bragg and 2-5 favorite Arabian Lion.

“I’m surprised because we were going up against the king (Baffert), but I’m not surprised because my horse was doing really well,” Yakteen said. “This one’s really special because Bob is a good friend, and we have a great relationship.”

Yakteen trained Taiba (12th) and Messier (15th) from Baffert’s stable in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Baffert has been banned by Churchill Downs Inc. through the 2023 Derby because of previous medication violations.

Ridden for the first time by Ramon Vazquez, Practical Move ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.65. The 2-year-old colt paid $23.20 to win as the second-longest shot in the field.

It was the biggest upset in the Futurity since Into Mischief paid $29.60 in 2007 when the race was run at Hollywood Park. It moved to Los Alamitos in 2014.