Bob Baffert: Personal Life, Early Life & Career, Net Worth, Accomplishments, Controversies
On January 13, 1953, Robert A. ‘Bob’ Baffert was born. He is an American racehorse coach who trained American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown victor, and Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown victor. Seven Kentucky Derbys, seven Preakness Stakes, three Belmont Stakes, and three Kentucky Oaks have all been earned by Baffert’s horses.
Bob Baffert | Personal Life
Bob Baffert is the father of five kids, four of whom he shares with his first wife, Sherry: Taylor, Canyon, Forest, and Savannah. Jill, an erstwhile tv news reporter premised in Louisville, was his second wife when he married her in 2002. In 2004, they welcomed a son titled “ “Bode,” after skier Bode Miller. Baffert lives in California with his household. In an episode of the Television program 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. Having followed by his 2015 Belmont victory, Baffert and his wife Jill announced their assistance to several charities. After turning down $150,000 for the mascot to show up with him at the Preakness, he was compensated $200,000 to permit Burger King to stand behind him in the grandstand during the telecast of the Belmont.
Baffert declared at his post-Belmont media meeting that he and his wife would donate $50,000 each to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA), and Old Friends Equine, all initiatives for veteran racehorses; and to the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund in remembrance of Quarter Horse Jockey Robert Z. “Bobby” Adair.
Adair, a companion of Baffert’s and an American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame honoree, died on Preakness Day, May 16, 2015, at the age of 71. American Pharoah’s victory was devoted entirely to Bobby by Baffert.
Bob Baffert | Early Life & Career
Baffert grew up on a cattle and chicken ranch in Nogales, Arizona, with his family. His dad bought a few Quarter Horses when he was ten years old and practiced racing them on a dirt track. He started working as a jockey for $100 a day in unofficial Quarter Horse races on the periphery of Nogales when he was in his youth. From there, he progressed to racing on well-known tracks, winning his first race at the age of 17 in 1970.
Bob Baffert married and started training quarter horses at a farm in Prescott, Arizona, after graduating from the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program with a Bachelor of Science degree. By the age of 20, he had established a public image as a coach and was being employed to operate other trainers’ stables. On January 28, 1979, he won his first race at Rillito Park with Flipper Star.
Baffert relocated to California in the 1980s and started working at Los Alamitos Race Course, where he began full-time Thoroughbred instruction in 1991. Thirty Slews gave him his first breakthrough in 1992 when he ended up winning his first Breeder’s Cup race.
Baffert made his name with horses that cost less than $20,000, such as Silver Charm and Real Quiet, which were purchased for $16,500 and $17,000, respectively.
D. Wayne Lukas, a college instructor, credited Baffert’s success to his “extraordinary eye for a good horse” and his capacity to handle his horses’ possibilities. In 1996, Bob’s professional life took a big step forward when he prepared a horse that finished second in the Kentucky Derby. With Silver Charm, a grey colt, he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes the very next year.
Having followed this accomplishment, Bob kept winning races in 1998 and became the first 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 throughout this time.
Bob’s Net Worth
Bob Baffert has a $30 million net worth as an American horse owner and trainer. Baffert has won numerous prizes and recognitions throughout his professional life, such as seven Kentucky Derbys, seven Preakness Stakes, three Belmont Stakes, and three Kentucky Oaks.
Bob Baffert | Accomplishments
He earned the Eclipse Award for greatest trainer three years in a row between 1997 and 1999 and was named the 1997 Big Sport of Turfdom Award. In 2007, Baffert was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Lone Star Park, and in 2009, he was nominated for and inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, the same year as Silverbulletday, a filly he trained. Although Point Given was shortlisted in 2009, it was selected and admitted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
Baffert has won fifteen American Classic Races, fifteen Breeders’ Cup races, four Dubai World Cups, and the initial Pegasus World Cup with his horses. He won the Santa Anita Derby nine times, the Haskell Invitational Handicap nine times, and the Del Mar Futurity fourteen times, including seven times in a row from 1996 to 2002 when it was a Grade II event.
He also topped the race as a Grade I event in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. He has three Kentucky Oaks victories: the first in 1999 with Silverbulletday, who was later inducted into the Hall of Fame, the second in 2011 with Plum Pretty, and the third in 2017 with Abel Tasman.
Misremembered, a horse he bred for his spouse Jill and buddy George Jacobs, earned the Santa Anita Handicap in 2010, earning Baffert’s first Grade I victory as a breeder rather than a trainer.
Over the years, Bob Baffert’s great triumphs in horseracing have been overshadowed by several high-profile disputes. Over the years, his horses have failed more than 30 drug tests, and Bob doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it – especially considering that four of his horses failed drug tests in 2020 alone.
Baffert has also gotten away with positive test results in the past. One of his horses tested positive for scopolamine in 2018, but the case was dismissed after inspectors determined that the horse’s diet had been tainted by accident. In the year 2020, a similar story unfolded.
In 2021, one of his horses tested positive for betamethasone, which was one of the most high-profile occurrences. The horse, Medina Spirit, was a Kentucky Derby winner, and there was talk of Bob selling his prized possession immediately after the tragedy. Any level of betamethasone found automatically disqualifies the athlete. Baffert stated that the medicine was never administered to the horse, and he promised to fight the case “tooth and nail.”
Later, Bob appeared to retrace his steps. His lawyer made a public declaration implying that the horse had been given a betamethasone-containing ointment. Baffert’s image in the horseracing world began to suffer as he appeared unable to defend himself against the allegations leveled against him. Even longstanding buddy 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 stolen from her Kentucky Derby victory.