On July 31, Bob Baffert lived a trainer’s dream, winning grade I races on both coasts, with Coil in the $1 million Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park in New Jersey and with Euroears in the Bing Crosby Stakes in track-record time at Del Mar in California.
The 58-year-old conditioner, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Farm in 2009, has been an iconic figure in Thoroughbred racing since he made the transition from a successful Quarter Horse training career in the late 1980s. Since that time, Baffert has been represented by Horse of the Year Point Given and champions Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Silverbulletday, Chilukki, Vindication, War Emblem, Indian Blessing, Midshipman, Midnight Lute, and Lookin At Lucky.
With his familiar white hair, Baffert became one of racing’s most recognizable figures to television audiences since winning his first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) with Silver Charm in 1997, a year after his first-ever Derby starter Cavonnier was nipped at the wire by Grindstone. Including additional Derby victories by Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002), Baffert has a record-tying nine Triple Crown race winners.
A graduate of the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program, Baffert won Eclipse Awards as North America’s outstanding trainer three consecutive years—1998, ’98, and ’99. Baffert’s stable is based in Southern California.