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Baffert Hopes for Racing “Luck”

Bob Baffert
Special to HRN:  By Jim Tierney 

Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has never won a Breeders’ Cup Classic.


Repeat.


Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has never won a Breeders’ Cup Classic.


It is almost unfathomable for a trainer like Baffert, who has seemingly won every major race in the U.S. and a pair of Dubai World Cups, has never won the Breeders’ Cup Classic. And it’s not as if Baffert hasn’t had quality chances to win the Classic.


Let’s take a walk down Breeders’ Cup Classic memory lane for Baffert:


In 1998, Baffert’s Silver Charm – who won the Kentucky Derby/Preakness a year earlier and the Dubai World Cup as a 4-year-old – seemed poised to take home Classic honors among a star-studded field. But Gary Stevens followed Frankie Dettori and Swain toward the Churchill Downs grandstand in mid-stretch, allowing Pat Day and Awesome Again a clear run to the finish line. Silver Charm was second; Swain third.


In 2000, Captain Steve – who would go on and win the Dubai World Cup in 2001 – finished third in the Classic behind Tiznow and Giant’s Causeway.


In 2002, Derby/Preakness winner War Emblem went off second choice in the Classic behind Medaglia d’Oro and finished a disappointing eighth.


Preakness/Haskell winner Lookin at Lucky presents Baffert with his best chance to win a Breeders’ Cup Classic in eight years. All eyes will be on unbeaten mare Zenyatta in the Classic, but don’t sell Lookin at Lucky short. He’s a May foal 3-year-old, who seems to be hitting his best stride now and, with a little racing luck and rider magic from hotshot Martin Garcia, we could see Lookin at Lucky and Zenyatta battling it out in the final furlong of the Classic come Saturday night at Churchill Downs.


 

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