Happy Breeders’ Cup Saturday. I’m going to let you in on a secret. Use it if you like, if not that’s fine too, that’s what makes racing fun. Having said that, the combination of Mr. Prospector sire line runners, trained by Bob Baffert is a proven cross for winning big races. It’s resulted in a Triple Crown winner, multiple Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont, Travers Stakes, Haskell Invitational and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile champions.
You could say this is simply a result of Baffert being a Hall of Fame trainer, and Mr. Prospector being the best stallion of at least his generation. This certainly says as much. I think it’s a perfect storm of timing, training style and conformational qualities that have made Baffert with Mr. Prospector a perfect partnership.
Let me give you a list of horses this idea applies to: Real Quiet, Point Given, War Emblem, Pioneerof the Nile, American Pharoah, Bodemeister, Secret Circle, Klimt, Lookin at Lucky, Roman Ruler, Coil, New Years Day, Midnight Lute, Shakin It Up, Midshipman, Bob and John, Souvenir Copy. And of course, in the Breeders’ Cup Classic today, Arrogate and Hoppertunity.
Some history: the late 1990’s were Baffert’s rise to prominence, winning two straight Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and winning the training Eclipse Award in 1997, 98, 99. Mr. Prospector set his standard in the 1980s and 90s, with Gulch, Forty Niner, Seeking the Gold, Gone West, Conquistador Cielo and many others, and capping his career with Fusaichi Pegasus’ win in the 2000 Kentucky Derby. As the bloodline became wider, and more sons and grandsons became breeding stallions, Baffert utilized the speed and conformational qualities of these runners like a basketball coach with a team full of players that fit his program perfectly.
Mr. Prospector threw horses with an engine, also known as powerful hindquarters, reminiscent of Quarter Horses. Here’s the best example of this They were able to break from the gate quickly, control the pace, and then rely on their stamina to pull ahead and win the race.
Have I tipped my hand too much on who I’ll be betting on today? Of course, this is what makes racing the great sport it is, the my horse is better than your horse argument. Enjoy Breeders’ Cup Saturday, good luck to all, but just remember who tipped you on that son of Unbridled’s Song.