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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 completed the sweep of the series by winning the Belmont Stakes in 2015. Three years later, Baffert joined “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons as the only trainers to win the Triple Crown twice when Justify became America’s 13th Triple Crown winner. Justify’s victory in the Belmont gave Baffert his 15th victory in a Triple Crown race, the most in history.


A native of Nogales, Ariz., Baffert, in addition to his Triple Crown winners, has won the Kentucky Derby with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), and War Emblem (2002); the Preakness with Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998), Point Given (2001), War Emblem (2002), and Lookin At Lucky (2010); and the Belmont with Point Given.


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, 1999, and 2015, Baffert has won 15 Breeders’ Cup races, including three editions of the Classic with Bayern (2014), American Pharoah (2015), and Arrogate (2016).


Baffert led all North American trainers in earnings in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 and has trained 16 champions (Point Given, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem, Indian Blessing, Midnight Lute, Chilukki, Silverbulletday, Vindication, Midshipman, Lookin At Lucky, American Pharoah, Arrogate, Drefong, Justify, and Game Winner).


Along with his 15 wins in the Triple Crown series and 15 in the Breeders’ Cup, Baffert has had tremendous success in numerous other prestigious events, including 14 wins in the Del Mar Futurity (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018); 10 wins in the Chandelier (previously Oak Leaf) Stakes (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2016); eight wins in both the Santa Anita Derby (1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016), Haskell Invitational (2001, 2002, 2005, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015); six wins in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (1999, 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017); five wins in both the Santa Anita Handicap (2000, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014) and Pacific Classic (1999, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2017); and three wins in  the Dubai World Cup (1998, 2001, 2017).


Through 2018, Baffert has won 29 training titles in Southern California, including 11 at Santa Anita and seven at Del Mar.