Special to HRN: By Jim Tierney
Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert has never won a Breeders’
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has never won a Breeders’
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
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
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.