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05-05-2011, 11:48 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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Baffert's playing mind games...,377236.story

But Baffert still couldn't resist saying a few things people may deem controversial, including that he isn't quite buying the mysterious illness that has stricken Uncle Mo in recent weeks.

"Uncle Mo looks fantastic out there to me," Baffert said. "He's the best horse in the race. I don't care what rumors you hear. You can't throw him out. He's looked great to me. Everyone is talking about him being 50/50. I think [Repole] is just trying to build a price for himself because it sounds like he likes to gamble. He's going to be dangerous. I don't think it's some [gastrointestinal issue], I think he just got tired at the Wood. From what I've seen visually, there is nothing there that tells me the horse isn't ready to run. … He's just trying to steal this race."

As for his own horse, Baffert isn't saying much. Midnight Interlude won the Santa Anita Derby in April, but he was virtually unknown prior to that victory and it didn't exactly come against the strongest field. Baffert, though, has played just about every role at the Derby over the years. Last year he had the favorite with Lookin At Lucky, and this year he'll have a longshot. It's all part of the game.

"It's all the same to me," Baffert said. "I've been coming here so many times. I know what to expect."

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