|Born||January 13, 1953|
Nogales, Arizona, U.S.
|Career wins||3,046+ (ongoing)|
|Major racing wins|
| American Classics wins:|
Kentucky Derby (1997, 1998, 2002, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021)
Preakness Stakes (1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2015, 2018)
Belmont Stakes (2001, 2015, 2018)
United States Triple Crown (2015, 2018)
Breeders' Cup wins:
Grade 1 Stakes Wins
| Big Sport of Turfdom Award (1997, 2015)|
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer (1997, 1998, 1999, 2015)
United States Champion Trainer by earnings (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
American Horse of the Year (2001, 2015, 2018,2020)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse (1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018,2020)
American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly (1999, 2017)
American Champion Two-Year-Old Male Horse (2002, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2018)
American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly (1998, 1999, 2007)
American Champion Sprint Horse (2007, 2016)
American Champion Female Sprint Horse (2008)
| Lone Star Park Hall of Fame (2007)|
U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (2009)
IFHA World's Best Racehorse (2015, 2016)
|Abel Tasman, American Pharoah, Arrogate, Authentic, Bayern, Behaving Badly, Bob and John, Bodemeister, Captain Steve, Chilukki, Congaree, Dortmund, Drefong, First Dude, Forestry, Game On Dude, Indian Blessing, Justify, Lookin At Lucky, Lord Nelson, Mastery, Medina Spirit, Midnight Lute, Midshipman, Misremembered, Pioneerof The Nile, Point Given, Real Quiet, Secret Circle, Silverbulletday, Silver Charm, Sinister Minister, Vindication, West Coast, War Emblem, Zensational|
Robert A. Baffert (born January 13, 1953) is an American racehorse trainer who trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. Baffert's horses have won six Kentucky Derbies, seven Preakness Stakes, three Belmont Stakes and three Kentucky Oaks.
Baffert grew up on a ranch in Nogales, Arizona, where his family raised cattle and chickens. When he was 10, his father purchased some Quarter Horses and he practiced racing them on a dirt track. In his teens, he worked as a jockey for $100 a day in informal Quarter Horse races on the outskirts of Nogales. He moved from there to racing at legalized tracks, scoring his first victory at age 17 in 1970.
Baffert graduated from the University of Arizona's Race Track Industry Program with a Bachelor of Science degree,got married, and began training quarter horses at a Prescott, Arizona farm. By age 20, he had developed a reputation as a trainer and was hired by other trainers to run their stables. His first winner was Flipper Star at Rillito Park on January 28, 1979. In the 1980s, Baffert moved to California and worked at Los Alamitos Race Course, where he switched to training Thoroughbreds full-time in 1991. He got his first big break in 1992 when he won his first Breeder's Cup race with Thirty Slews.
Baffert established his early reputation with less expensive horses like Silver Charm and Real Quiet, bought for $16,500 and $17,000 respectively. Fellow trainer D. Wayne Lukas attributed Baffert's success to his "extraordinary eye for a good horse" and his management ability in finding the right opportunities for his charges.
Baffert's history in the American classic races began in 1996 when he trained a three-year-old colt named Cavonnier, who ran second in the Kentucky Derby. In 1997, he trained the gray colt Silver Charm to win the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, finishing second in the Belmont. Baffert revisited the Derby the next year, sending two top colts, Real Quiet and Indian Charlie, to Louisville. Real Quiet won the race that year, but Baffert also finished third with Indian Charlie. Real Quiet won the Preakness as well, but, like Silver Charm, the horse was denied a Triple Crown win and finished second in the Belmont Stakes by a nose. Baffert, however, became the first trainer in history to win the Derby and Preakness in back-to-back years.
Baffert did not win another classic race until 2001, when he won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes with eventual Hall of Fame member Point Given. Although he was denied a Derby win that year, he finished third in the race with Congaree. Baffert won the Derby a third time the following year with War Emblem. The colt went on to win the Preakness Stakes, giving the trainer his third shot at winning the Triple Crown. The colt lost the Belmont Stakes after breaking poorly from the starting gate. Baffert did not have a horse hit the board again in any of the Triple Crown races until 2009, when he trained Pioneerof The Nile to a second-place finish in the Derby.
Finally, after waiting eight years, Baffert trained Lookin At Lucky, co-owned by longtime client and good friend Mike Pegram, to win the Preakness Stakes in 2010. The colt skipped the Belmont Stakes but became the champion three-year-old colt that year. In 2012, Baffert saddled Bodemeister, named for the trainer's youngest son, Bode, to second-place finishes in the Derby and Preakness. He saddled Paynter in the Belmont Stakes later that year, but that colt, like his stablemate Bodemeister, finished second.
In 2015, Baffert trained the 2014 champion two-year-old colt American Pharoah to win the Triple Crown, the first to do so in 37 years. He won the 141st Kentucky Derby, bringing his total number of victories in the race to four; Baffert also ran the third-place finisher, the previously undefeated colt Dortmund. American Pharoah next won the 140th Preakness Stakes, making six victories in that race for Baffert, who also finished fourth with Dortmund. Then, when American Pharoah won the 2015 Belmont Stakes, the win was the fourth attempt at a Triple Crown for Baffert, who at age 62 became the second-oldest trainer to win a Triple Crown.
Baffert also trained the 2018 Triple Crown Winner, Justify and the 2020 Kentucky Derby winner, Authentic.Baffert became a 7-time winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2021 with Medina Spirit. However, he later acknowledged that Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. Despite denying any wrongdoing, this would mark the fifth time in under a year that one of the race horses Baffert trained failed a drug test.
As of May 2021 [update] , 31 of Baffert's horses had failed drug tests over four decades, including four horses in 2020. One notable event involved Triple Crown winner Justify, who tested positive for scopolamine after winning the 2018 Santa Anita Derby. . Although the amount detected was well in excess of the regulatory limit, the case was eventually dismissed as the regulators felt all the facts supported an instance of feed contamination. Similarly, cases against two horses who tested positive in Arkansas in 2020 for lidocaine were dismissed as being the result of accidental transfer from an assistant trainer who was using the medication on himself. Following this incident, the state of Arkansas suspended Baffert for 15 days.
In 2021, a post-race test from Baffert-trained Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit showed 21pg/mL of betamethasone.In Kentucky, any amount of betamethasone detected in post-race testing is a violation and could result in a disqualification. In a news conference on May 9, Baffert said that Medina Spirit was never administered betamethasone. In addition to a request for a split drug sample, Baffert also requested an independent DNA and follicle test. He told reporters that he would fight the issue "...tooth and nail because I owe it to the horse, I owe it to the owner, and I owe it to our industry." During a May 10 appearance on America's Newsroom Baffert asserted that the win was valid by suggesting that Medina Spirit may have tested positive after a groom took cough medicine and urinated on some hay, which the horse then ate. Baffert also said the situation was a "was like a cancel culture kind of a thing"; moreover, he said that he believed the investigation into Medina Spirit would take months. The positive test also led to former president Donald Trump calling Medina Spirit a "Junky" in a statement. Sports Illustrated also argued that the positive drug test was a sign that Baffert's "leaking credibility" had reached "the saturation point."
Shortly thereafter, Churchill Downs suspended Bob Baffert from entering any horses at their racetrack pending the outcome of the commission's investigation.
Between 1997 and 1999, he won the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer three years running and was voted the 1997 Big Sport of Turfdom Award.
Baffert has trained horses that won fifteen American Classic Races, fifteen Breeders' Cup races, three Dubai World Cups and the inaugural Pegasus World Cup. In 2010, Baffert scored a first when Misremembered, a horse he bred, owned by his wife Jill and their friend George Jacobs, won the Santa Anita Handicap, marking Baffert's first Grade I win as a breeder. He also has nine wins in the Santa Anita Derby, nine in the Haskell Invitational Handicap, and fourteen wins in the Del Mar Futurity, a race he won seven straight times from 1996 to 2002, when run as a Grade II event. He also won the race in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 when run as a Grade I event. He has won the Kentucky Oaks three times: first in 1999 with Silverbulletday, who was later selected for the Hall of Fame, then with Plum Pretty in 2011 and lastly with Abel Tasman in 2017. Following Authentic's win the 2020 Kentucky Derby, Baffert tied the record for most Kentucky Derby wins at six.Only Ben Jones, who won Kentucky Derbies between 1938 and 1952, would also score six Kentucky Derby wins as a horse trainer.
Baffert has trained for numerous owners including The Thoroughbred Corporation (Prince Ahmed bin Salman), Golden Eagle Farm (John C. Mabee), the late Bob Lewis and his wife Beverly, Robert and Janice McNair, for whom he trained champions Chilukki and five-time Grade I winner Congaree, and his good friend Mike Pegram, for whom he has trained champions Real Quiet, Silverbulletday, Captain Steve, Midnight Lute, and Lookin At Lucky. In 2014, Baffert teamed with owner Kaleem Shah to win his first Breeders' Cup Classic with Bayern. Most recently, Baffert has trained horses for Zayat Stables, including Pioneerof The Nile, Zensational, Bodemeister, Paynter, and American Pharoah, and for Juddmonte Farms, most notably Arrogate.
Baffert was inducted into Lone Star Park's Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2009, he was nominated and inducted to the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame. Baffert was elected alongside one of the best fillies he trained, Silverbulletday.Point Given was nominated in 2009, but elected and inducted in 2010.
Baffert has five children: four from his first marriage to wife, Sherry: Taylor, Canyon, Forest, and Savannah. He married his second wife, Jill, a former television reporter based in Louisville, in 2002. They had a son in 2004 they named "Bode" ( // BOH-dee), after skier Bode Miller. Baffert and his family reside in California.
He appeared in an episode of the TV show Take Home Chef .
Bob survived a heart attack in late March 2012 while in Dubai for a world-class race at Meydan.
Following the 2015 Belmont win, Baffert outlined several charities that he and his wife Jill supported.He had been paid $200,000 to allow the Burger King to stand behind him in the grandstand during the televised broadcast of the Belmont, after having turned down $150,000 to allow the mascot to appear with him at the Preakness. At the post-Belmont press conference, Baffert announced he and his wife would be making donations of $50,000 each to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), and Old Friends Equine, all programs for retired race horses; and to the Permanently Disabled Jockey's Fund in memory of a Quarter Horse Jockey named Robert Z. "Bobby" Adair. A friend of Baffert's and an inductee into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame, Adair died on Preakness Day, May 16, 2015, at 71. Baffert had dedicated American Pharoah's win to Bobby.
A 2021 Sports Illustrated article said his political views were hard right, with Baffert expressing support for Donald Trump.
The Kentucky Derby
The Preakness Stakes
The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, almost always on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The competition is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds.
Real Quiet was an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse. He was nicknamed "The Fish" by his trainer due to his narrow frame. He is best remembered for winning the first two legs of American Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. His loss in the third leg, the Belmont Stakes, was the smallest margin of defeat ever at only four inches.
The Arkansas Derby is an American flat Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-olds held annually in April at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. It is currently a Grade I race run over a distance of 9 furlongs on dirt.
War Emblem was a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
John R. Velazquez is a Puerto Rican jockey in Thoroughbred horse racing. He began his career in Puerto Rico and moved to New York in 1990. In 2004 and 2005 he was the United States Champion Jockey by earnings and both years was given the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey. He was inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2012, rode his 5,000th winner in 2013, and became the leading money-earning jockey in the history of the sport in 2014.
Victor Espinoza is a Mexican jockey in American Thoroughbred horse racing who won the Triple Crown in 2015 on American Pharoah. He began riding in his native Mexico and went on to compete at racetracks in California. He has won the Kentucky Derby three times, riding War Emblem in 2002, California Chrome in 2014, and American Pharoah in 2015. He also won the Preakness Stakes three times, in those same years and with the same horses. He was the first jockey in history to enter the Belmont Stakes with a third opportunity to win the Triple Crown; his 2015 victory made him the oldest jockey and first Hispanic jockey to accomplish the feat.
In the United States, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner. The races are traditionally run in May and early June of each year, although global events have resulted in schedule adjustments, such as in 1945 and 2020.
Pioneerof the Nile was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who was the second-place finisher in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. After retiring from racing, he became a breeding stallion, notable as the sire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, 2016 Champion 2-Year-Old Colt Classic Empire, and other graded-stakes winners.
American Pharoah is a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who is the twelfth winner of the American Triple Crown. He also won the Breeders' Cup Classic after his Triple Crown sweep to become the first and only horse to win the Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing. Until American Pharoah in 2015, a horse hadn't won the Triple Crown for 37 years, more than a quarter of a century, and racing fans thought the feat was just too difficult to accomplish now and that Affirmed in 1978 would be the final horse to win the Triple Crown. However, American Phaorah ended that 37-year wait with a 5 1/2 length victory in the Belmont Stakes to become the twelfth Triple Crown winner.
The 2015 Preakness Stakes,, was the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes, promoted as the "middle jewel" of thoroughbred horse racing's traditional Triple Crown, held two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes. The race was held at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 16, 2015, and was televised on NBC.
The 2015 Belmont Stakes was the 147th in the Belmont Stakes series. The 1 1⁄2-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the "test of the champion" and sometimes called the "final jewel" in thoroughbred horse racing's traditional Triple Crown series, was held on June 6, 2015, three weeks after the Preakness Stakes and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The Belmont Stakes was the 11th race of a 13 race card which included 10 stakes races. Post time for race 11 was 6:52 pm EDT.
The 2001 Belmont Stakes was the 133rd running of the Belmont Stakes. The 1 1⁄2-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the "test of the champion" and sometimes called the "final jewel" in thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown series, was held on June 9, 2001, three weeks after the Preakness Stakes and five weeks after the Kentucky Derby.
The Grand Slam of Thoroughbred racing is an informal name for the winning of four major Thoroughbred horse races in one season in the United States. The term has been applied to at least two different configurations of races.
The 2018 Belmont Stakes was the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes and the 107th time the event took place at Belmont Park. The 1 1⁄2-mile (2,400 m) race, known as the "test of the champion", is the final leg in the American Triple Crown. It is a Grade I stakes race with a purse of $1.5 million, open to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. The race took place on June 9, 2018, and was broadcast on NBC starting at 4 p.m. EDT. Justify won the race with a time of 2:28.18, becoming the thirteenth American Triple Crown winner.
Justify is a champion American Thoroughbred racehorse who is the thirteenth and most recent winner of the American Triple Crown. He also was the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old.
The 2018 Preakness Stakes was the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the American Triple Crown. It was a Grade I stakes race with a purse of $1.5 million for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of 1+3⁄16 miles (1.9 km). It was held on May 19, 2018, at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland and was broadcast on NBC from 5:00 pm to 7:15 pm EDT with coverage of the undercard on NBCSN starting at 2:30 pm.
The 2021 Kentucky Derby was the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby. It took place on May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Kentucky. The field was open to 20 horses, who qualified for the race by earning points on the 2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of 1+1⁄4 miles (2.0 km) and has been run at Churchill Downs racetrack since its inception in 1875. The purse for 2021 was US$3 million. It was won by Medina Spirit, who gave his trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh win in the race and jockey John Velazquez his fourth Derby win. However, the horse tested positive for betamethasone after the race and faces disqualification if the split sample is also positive.
Medina Spirit is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby. He qualified for the race by winning the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and finishing second in both the San Felipe Stakes and Santa Anita Derby.
The 2021 Preakness Stakes will be the 146th Preakness Stakes, a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of 1+3⁄16 miles. The race is one leg of the American Triple Crown and is held annually at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness Stakes is traditionally held on the third Saturday in May, two weeks after the Kentucky Derby. The 2021 Preakness is scheduled for May 15 with a post time of 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time, with television coverage by NBC.
Mandaloun is an American thoroughbred race horse who finished second in the 2021 Kentucky Derby behind winner Medina Spirit. The horse is ridden by jockey Florent Geroux and trained by Brad H. Cox. Prior to his Derby runner up run Mandoloun won the 2021 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana.