01/05/2012 2:24PM

2011 Eclipse Awards: Bob Baffert


Bob Baffert, who turned 59 on Jan. 13, won the Eclipse Award for trainer in 1997, 1998, and 1999. Baffert enjoyed his best year of the century in 2011. The $14,504,834 his horses earned, his $10,601,832 stakes earnings, his $9,717,569 graded stakes earnings, and his 44 stakes wins are all his best performances since 1999. His earnings total were the third highest among North American trainers in 2011. His stakes wins were second behind Pletcher’s 85. His stakes earnings were second behind Pletcher’s $11,427,482. His graded stakes earnings were the highest total of 2011.

Baffert trained nine Grade 1 winners in 2011. Game On Dude won the Santa Anita Handicap, the Goodwood, and earned $1,917,400 during the year. Plum Pretty won the Kentucky Oaks and $1,333,900. Midnight Interlude won the Santa Anita Derby and $760,910. Coil won the Haskell and $755,200. Euroears won the Bing Crosby and $648,332. The Factor won the Pat O’Brien and the Malibu, en route to earnings of $617,500. First Dude won the Hollywood Gold Cup and $581,980. Liaison won the CashCall Futurity and $469,560. Drill won the Del Mar Futurity and $248,150. Baffert had other notable stakes winners. Always a Princess won the Grade 2 El Encino and the Grade 2 La Canada, then retired after being injured in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita. Prayer for Relief won the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby, the Grade 2 Super Derby, and the Grade 3 Iowa Derby. So Brilliant was unbeaten in two starts, including a victory in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue in November.