Bob Baffert, an American racehorse trainer, was born on January 13, 1953. He trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and the 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify. Six Kentucky Derbys, seven Preakness Stakes, three Belmont Stakes, and three Kentucky Oaks have been won by Bob Baffert’s horses.
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Robert A. Baffert a.k.a Bob Baffert was born in Nogales, Arizona. As a child, Bob was exposed to livestock and farm life on his family’s ranch, where they reared cattle and poultry. Bob Baffert’s father owned a few Quarter Horses when he was ten years old. A Quarter Horse is a short-distance sprinting horse from the United States. Bob grew up watching his father practice horseracing and finally fell in love with the sport.
Bob Baffert began riding horses at an impromptu racetrack on the outskirts of Nogales when he was a teenager. He subsequently began competing at more mainstream racetracks as his skills improved. He had won his first professional horserace at the age of 17.
He went to the University of Arizona and enrolled in the Race Track Industry Program after graduating from high school. He finally earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Bob began training Quarter Horses at a property in Prescott, Arizona, as soon as he graduated from university. He was only 20 years old at the time, but he had already established himself as a highly accomplished horse trainer.
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Bob Baffert’s Career
He had trained his first winning horse by 1979. Flipper Star was the horse’s name, and he won at Flipper Park that year. Bob then moved to Los Alamitos Race Course in California to coach Thoroughbreds. Bob’s thoroughbred Thirty Slews won the Breeder’s Cup in 1992, allowing him to win his first Breeder’s Cup. Bob had a reputation for seeing potential in horses that were reasonably inexpensive during these early years. During this time, some of his most successful horses were purchased for as little as $17,000.
In 1996, Bob’s career took a big step forward when he trained a horse that finished second in the Kentucky Derby. With Silver Charm, a gray colt, he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes the following year. Following this triumph, Bob continued to win races in 1998, becoming the only trainer in history to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in consecutive years. Real Quiet and Indian Charlie were two of his most successful horses during this time.
However, Bob Baffert’s winning streak came to an end in 1999, and he didn’t win another classic event until 2001. With Point Given, he won the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes this year. Another great year followed, this time with the horse War Emblem, however, it would be Bob’s last until 2009. He didn’t win another major race until Lookin At Lucky in 2010. American Pharoah, who won the Triple Crown in 2014, was another successful horse. Horses like Justify, Authentic, and Medina Spirit went on to win more races.
American Classic History
Bob Baffert’s involvement in the American classic races dates back to 1996 when he trained Cavonnier, a three-year-old horse who finished second in the Kentucky Derby. Silver Charm won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1997 and finished second in the Belmont Stakes. The following year, Bob Baffert returned to the Derby, sending two top colts, Real Quiet and Indian Charlie, to Louisville. That year, Real Quiet won the race, while Baffert came in third with Indian Charlie. Real Quiet won the Preakness as well but was denied a Triple Crown victory by a nose in the Belmont Stakes, just like Silver Charm. Baffert, on the other hand, became the first trainer in history to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in consecutive years.
Bob Baffert didn’t win another classic race until 2001 when he and eventual Hall of Fame member Point Given won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. With Congaree, he came in third in the Derby that year. In 2002, Baffert won the Derby for the third time with War Emblem. The colt went on to win the Preakness Stakes, giving the trainer a shot at the Triple Crown for the third time. The colt finished last in the Belmont Stakes after a bad start. Baffert did not have another Triple Crown winner until 2009 when Pioneerof The Nile finished second in the Derby.
Lookin At Lucky, owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Baffert, won the Preakness Stakes in 2010. Although the colt did not run in the Belmont Stakes, he was the champion three-year-old colt that year. In 2012, Baffert rode Bodemeister to second-place finishes in the Derby and Preakness, named after the trainer’s youngest son, Bode. Later that year, he entered Paynter in the Belmont Stakes, but the colt finished second, just like his stablemate Bodemeister.
Baffert trained American Pharoah, the 2014 champion two-year-old horse, to win the Triple Crown for the first time in 37 years in 2015. Baffert also ran the third-place finisher, the previously undefeated colt Dortmund, in the 141st Kentucky Derby, extending his total number of Derby triumphs to four. Following that, American Pharoah won the 140th Preakness Stakes, giving Baffert a total of six victories in the race, with Dortmund finishing fourth. When American Pharoah won the 2015 Belmont Stakes, it was Baffert’s fourth effort at a Triple Crown, and he became the second-oldest trainer to do so at the age of 62.
Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown champion, and Authentic, the 2020 Kentucky Derby winner, were both trained by Bob Baffert. In 2021, Bob Baffert won the Kentucky Derby for the seventh time with Medina Spirit. Medina Spirit, on the other hand, tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. The topic of whether the horse will join Dancer’s Image in being disqualified for a doping infraction in the Derby is still open as of 1 January 2022. Medina Spirit died on the 6th of December 2021 after a training session, and the necropsy that followed on the 11th of February 2022 was inconclusive.
Bob Baffert’s Net Worth And Earnings
Bob Baffert has a $30 million net worth as an American horse owner and trainer.
Bob Baffert made very little money as a jockey. Only $1 million in race winnings took him 12 years to obtain. He had much more success as a trainer, winning the Breeder’s Cup with Thirty Slews in 1992 and earning $1 million in a single race. This was Bob’s first big break, but he would go on to win millions more in prize money and stud fees in the future. Bob Baffert’s horses have amassed a fortune in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Over the years, several high-profile issues have overshadowed Bob Baffert’s amazing triumphs in the world of horseracing. Over the years, his horses have failed more than 30 drug tests, and Bob doesn’t appear to be doing anything about it — especially when four of his horses failed drug tests in 2020 alone. Baffert has also gotten away with false-positive test results in the past. One of his horses tested positive for scopolamine in 2018, but the case was dropped after inspectors determined that the horse’s diet had been contaminated by accident. In the year 2020, a similar tale was told.
In 2021, one of his horses tested positive for betamethasone, which became one of the most high-profile occurrences. The horse was Medina Spirit, a Kentucky Derby winner, and there was talk of Bob selling his prized possession immediately after the tragedy. Any amount of betamethasone discovered automatically disqualifies you. Baffert stated that the horse had never been given the medicine and that he would fight the case “tooth and nail.”
Later, Bob appeared to retrace his steps. His lawyer made a public statement implying that the horse had been given a betamethasone-containing ointment. Baffert’s reputation in the horseracing world began to suffer as he appeared unable to defend himself against the allegations leveled against him. Even longstanding ally Donald Trump expressed his displeasure with the episode, and the news media was all over it.
Churchill Downs prohibited Bob Baffert from horseracing for two years as a result of the Medina Spirit incident. The New York Racing Association then banned him. A second test confirmed the previous result, demonstrating that betamethasone was present in the horse’s system on race day, exacerbating the condition. Medina Spirit was similarly robbed of her Kentucky Derby victory.
Bob Baffert is the father of five children, four of whom he shares with his first wife, Sherry: Taylor, Canyon, Forest, and Savannah. Jill, a former television reporter stationed in Louisville, was his second wife when he married her in 2002. In 2004, they welcomed a boy named “Bode,” after skier Bode Miller. Bob Baffert lives in California with his family. In an episode of the TV show Take Home Chef, he made an appearance. In late March 2012, while in Dubai for a world-class race at Meydan, Bob had a heart attack.
Following his 2015 Belmont victory, Baffert and his wife Jill announced their support for several causes. After turning down $150,000 to allow the Burger King mascot to appear with him at the Preakness, he was given $200,000 to enable the mascot to stand behind him in the grandstand during the televised broadcast of the Belmont.
Bob Baffert announced at the post-Belmont press conference that he and his wife would each donate $50,000 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), and Old Friends Equine, all programs for retired racehorses; and the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund in memory of Quarter Horse Jockey Robert Z. “Bobby” Adair. Adair, a friend of Bob’s and an American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame inductee, died on Preakness Day, May 16, 2015, at the age of 71. American Pharoah’s victory had been dedicated to Bobby by Bob Baffert.