Baffert: ‘There’s A Breeders’ Cup Winner Every Year, But Not A Triple Crown Winner’

One sure thing in racing: Horse of the Year 2018 will be announced come Jan. 24. One uncertainty: will it be Justify or Accelerate?

Voters will honor either undefeated Triple Crown champion Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, or Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Accelerate, trained by John Sadler, all involved parties based at Santa Anita Park.

Baffert, as does Sadler, understandably has a vested interest, and made a case for only the second undefeated Triple Crown winner in racing history, joining Seattle Slew in 1977.

“You’ve got two good horses,” Baffert said, “but there’s a Breeders’ Cup winner every year but not a Triple Crown winner every year, and that’s so difficult to accomplish, and I know, because I’ve been there so many times (Cavonnier, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Point Given, War Emblem). It takes a special horse and a superior horse.

“There’s no timetable you can employ at will. The Triple Crown dates are set in stone, three races in a five weeks, period. You can’t pick and choose. Justify was an extraordinary horse, and John had a tremendous year with Accelerate.

“It was exciting to watch him run, but sometimes it doesn’t work out. Arrogate wasn’t named Horse of the Year. We had six outs (starts with Justify); he (Accelerate) had seven outs. We were undefeated, and it was one of the toughest (Kentucky) Derbies.

“Now they say it doesn’t look that tough, but they’re all tough. Justify simply ran those horses into the ground when they were chasing him. That’s what happened. A lot of horses get ground up in those classics.

“We’re all here for those races. We want to win the Derby, we want to win the Triple Crown. It’s all about the classics and they’re hard on the horses. Unfortunately, we couldn’t run Justify after the Belmont (on June 9).

“People couldn’t wait to see him run again, but when you have horses like Justify and American Pharoah (2015 Triple Crown winner) . . . I almost didn’t run him back in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, but he came around in his training, so we did, even though it’s hard on them.

“But Pharoah handled it, although he never got a break. He didn’t miss a beat and he defeated some pretty nice horses.”

The post Baffert: ‘There’s A Breeders’ Cup Winner Every Year, But Not A Triple Crown Winner’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.