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Bob Baffert

Bob Baffert
Bob Baffert
Induction Year: 
Jan. 13, 1953, Nogales, Ariz.
Career Years: 
Number of Starters: 
Number of Winners: 
Winning Percentage: 

Tab Wrapper


Bob Baffert became the 11th trainer to win racing’s Triple Crown when American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes in 2015. The victory gave Baffert, who three times previously had won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in the same year, a total of 12 victories in the Triple Crown series.


A native of Nogales, Ariz., Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), War Emblem (2002) and American Pharoah (2015); the Preakness with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), Lookin At Lucky (2010) and American Pharoah (2015); and the Belmont with Point Given and American Pharoah (2015). Only D. Wayne Lukas (14) and Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons (13) have won more races in Triple Crown events than Baffert.


Through June 15, 2015, Baffert has won 2,564 races and ranks sixth all time in career earnings with $222,944,813.


Baffert grew up on his family’s 240-acre cattle ranch near the Mexico border in Arizona. His father bred Quarter Horses and his mother was a teacher and school principal. Baffert got his start with horses at age 10 when he began grooming and galloping his father’s horses. He had a brief career as a jockey, winning his first sanctioned race in 1970 at Flagstaff in Arizona.


After his riding career didn’t work out, Baffert graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in animal sciences and racetrack management. He had plenty of success training Quarter Horses, including four champions, one of which, Gold Coast Express, was the 1986 Quarter Horse World Champion. Baffert won his first race as a thoroughbred trainer Jan. 28, 1979, saddling Flipper Star to a victory at Rillito in Arizona. The winner’s share of the $600 purse was $330.


The Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Trainer in 1997, 1998 and 1999, Baffert has won 11 Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2014 Classic with Bayern. Other horses Baffert has trained to Breeders’ Cup victories include New Year’s Day, Secret Circle, Midshipman, Midnight Lute, Indian Blessing, Vindication, Silverbulletday and Thirty Slews.


Baffert led all North American trainers in earnings in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 and has trained 12 champions (Point Given, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, Indian Blessing, Midnight Lute, Chilukki, Silverbulletday, Vindication, Midshipman, Lookin At Lucky and American Pharoah). Three of his champions — Silver Charm, Silverbulletday and Point Given — have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.


Along with his 12 wins in the Triple Crown series and 11 in the Breeders’ Cup, Baffert has had tremendous success in numerous other prestigious events, including 12 wins in the Del Mar Futurity (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014); nine wins in the Chandelier (previously Oak Leaf) Stakes (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013); seven wins each in the Santa Anita Derby (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2011, 2015), Haskell Invitational (2001, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014) and FrontRunner (previously the Norfolk) Stakes (1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2009, 2012, 2014); five wins in both the Santa Anita Handicap (2000, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014) and Hollywood Gold Cup (1999, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014); and four victories in the Pacific Classic (1999, 2009, 2010, 2013), among others.


Through 2014, Baffert had won 29 training titles in Southern California, including 11 at Santa Anita, where he ranks third all time in both overall wins (717) and stakes wins (138). At Del Mar, where he has won seven training titles, Baffert is third all time in wins (425) and first in stakes wins (108).