Derby for Dummies: B is for Bob (Baffert, that is)

Robin and Jenny here from Derby for Dummies, Saratoga Social's horse racing guide for those of you who might like horse racing but might also not know much about it. Maybe you're the type that chooses their horse based on the jockey silk colors, or has a "favorite jockey" at Saratoga. We don't judge you, we ARE you, so here is our guide to help you sound like you know what you're talking about come Derby Day.

Who's got two thumbs and the top two horses in the Derby right now? This guy. (illustration byPierre Bellocq)

Who's got two thumbs and the top two horses in the Derby right now? This guy. (illustration byPierre Bellocq)

Our first lesson is about trainer extraordinaire, Bob Baffert. Bob started his career in horse racing as a jockey, but when he found trouble keeping of the lbs (I mean who wouldn't) he switched it up and in his career his horses have won three Kentucky Derbies, five Preakness Stakes, one Belmont Stakes and two Kentucky Oaks.

This year Bob has two horses in Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby, and they might be the first and second betting choices in a field that many racing experts consider to be the most talented in many years. The likely Derby favorite is Baffert’s American Pharoah, and Bob's other horse is the second choice, the undefeated Dortmund.

First off, we have spellcheck. The letters "a" and "o" became transposed from the traditional spelling for an Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, and that wasn't necessarily intended when owner Zayat Stables submitted a name to The Jockey Club. But, the name came about when a fan submitted the name through a contest, and that was the spelling sent on to The Jockey Club, so that's that.

American Pharoah takes a four-race winning streak into the Derby and jockey Victor Espinoza who will be riding him Derby Day. A lot will be riding on (see that horse racing pun we just did?!) today's post-position draw, with Baffert saying that American Pharoah still needs "racing luck" with a decent post.

Dortmund is from the third crop of foals sired by Big Brown, who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes and is named in honor of the German soccer team Borussia Dortmund. Dortmund is a beast, he failed to reach his reserve price as a foal because, as his breeder explained, "He was so big; everybody was afraid of his size".

We'll be watching the race at the inaugural Kentucky Derby Party to benefit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, Bacon, Brews, and Brims. At this must attend Derby fete, party goers will be able to watch the race inside the actual Hall of Fame, and while you're there look around for Bob up there on the wall. On April 19, 2009, Baffert was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame alongside one of the best fillies he trained, Silverbulletday. Will he add the 2015 Kentucky Derby to his long list of racing accomplishments? It won't be long now to find out.

At Bacon, Brews, and Brims, Saratogabets is going to be on site to enroll people in their rewards program and help with on-line wagering. Free wi-fi will also be available for everyone. Click here to buy tickets for the event now, and tickets will also be sold at the door at $85 per ticket. See you race fans Saturday!


Posted on April 28, 2015 .