Did Bob Baffert Make The Right Choices to Win Him Top Trainer This Season?

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While Bob Baffert may have come dangerously close to winning his first Breeder’s Cup Classic, the trainer sure could have earned plenty of other Breeder’s Cup wins from this season of handful starts. With Game on Dude finishing second in the Classics, winning Bob an ‘in the money’ finish, his other prayer for a great Breeder’s place was Prayer for Relief whose efforts went down the drains with a 9th place, prior in the Clark Handicap. A Breeder’s qualification never materialized.

Bob made plenty other impressive openings this season, casting a vote for Plum Pretty in the Breeder’s Cup Ladies Classic. Having observed a fairly satisfactory performance through her season comprising of first place finishes in Kentucky Oaks and Cotillion Stakes, a second place in Hollywood Oaks, the filly seemed a perfect contention for the Ladies Classic division. However, the Baffert brigade may have fallen short of excellence; Plum Pretty finished fifth.

The Factor, whose launch this season was lined up with two Grade-2 wins, posed a perfect threat to the Triple Crown contenders like Uncle Mo and Shackleford. As the event drew closer, all probable contenders became history. The Baffert ‘Factor’ contracted a hairline fracture post his Arkansas Derby seventh place finish forcing him into a four month long layoff, forfeiting his Triple Crown dreams. The Factor finished eighth in the Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile; a very brave contention by Baffert but overwhelmingly disappointing.

Despite a fantastic maiden season, Drill, who had earlier earned first and second place finishes in Del Mar Futurity and Norfolk Stakes, both being Grade-1 events, finished surprisingly slow on the Juvenile tracks of Breeder’s Cup tournament.

Some hope arrives secretly as Secret Circle grabbed the first place in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Sprint; finally another in the money finish for the top class trainer. However, the 7-year old Euroears, contending for Sentient Jet Breeder’s Cup Sprint, finished 9th, despite a first place finish in the Bing Crossby Grade-1 race. Candrea, fighting for a place in the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies, didn’t help the situation any further. Even though her maiden season sported a second place finish in the Oak Leaf Stakes, and two first place finishes in other stake races, she finished trailing at 11th. The Baffert army’s two remaining contentions consisted of Irish Gypsy and Irrefutble, who like others from their batch exhibited slow speed, inconsistence and faired below satisfaction. Did Baffert make wrong choices?

The season’s coming to a wintery end and all racing fraternity is waiting with abated breath, the results for championships on all fronts. While the Triple Crown and Breeder’s Cup have been baffled with upsets, its little chances for predictions to show-off.

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