Baffert Wins Haskell: All It Takes Is The Right Hot Dog

A few hours before The Haskell Invitational Bob Baffert, @Midnightlute, was tweeting about the keys to Coil’s victory.
“Just had lunch at Max's Hot Dogs on Jersey Shore. Best hot dog in the world.”
“Can't win the Haskell without eating at Max's Hot Dogs on day of race.” 
Coil was making his first start on a conventional dirt surface after making his first five starts on the Hollywood Park polytrack.  It was a different experience for Coil who bobbled at the start and dropped to last place.  In all his prior races Coil had been on or close to the lead.  Baffert was startled, “He didn’t break well and at that point I thought the race was over. Down the backstretch, I thought he was going to have to be like his dad, Point Given, to win.  In the stretch, when he was passing Shackleford it was almost like I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”
This was the first race Coil ran without blinkers since his first start. Baffert credits his jockey, “Martin (Garcia) kept telling me to take the blinkers off.  In his last race, he was rank and gave Martin had a hard time and he came back and said ‘Senor, I think it’s time to take the blinkers off."

Baffert won his fifth consecutive Haskell Invitational starting in 2001 with Point Given, 2002 War Emblem, 2005 Roman Ruler, 2010 Lookin At Lucky, and now in 2011 with Coil.
Coil adds $600,000 to his career earnings, but for Bob Baffert the sweet taste of victory is a hot dog at the Jersey Shore.
Meet Matt Shifman

In the 70s I was another one of those kids that went to the track with their fathers, and I immediately became enthralled with the excitement and challenges of handicapping.  And then the charisma and dominance of Secretariat gave me a hero to follow. To this day, I still get emotional when I hear Chic Andersons call of the 1973 Belmont, Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine.

There have been many great horses run at the shore. In 1976 I watched Majestic Light win the Monmouth Invitational, now the Haskell, in track record time, defeating Honest Pleasure, the big favorite who was in from New York.  This was one of my first big wins at the track.
In the 80s, as a disciple of Andy Beyer, I made my own speed figures because they were not available to the public. Needless to say I visited Monmouth frequently to test out the figs.
The 90s allowed me to learn about the backstretch as a part owner of a few claimers that were stabled at Philadelphia Park.  Not a typical owner, I mucked stalls, cooled out the horses, and watched morning works.  Also, I met my wife and discovered that her grandfather bred, owned, and raced thoroughbreds on the West Virginia, Maryland circuit.  Today our office is decorated with winners circle pictures and a vast collection of Kentucky Derby glasses.
Todays electronic age makes it so easy to gather information about racing.  I hope you use this blog to learn about Racing at the Jersey Shore.


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