01/08/2014 12:14PM

2013 Eclipse Awards: Bob Baffert

photo by: Barbara D. Livingston

Few trainers closed out the year better than Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. Of his nine Grade 1 victories last year, seven came over the second half of 2013. Among those were two Breeders’ Cup victories, with New Year’s Day winning the Juvenile and Secret Circle taking the Sprint.

With skillful preparation, Baffert had New Year’s Day ready to win off a two-month layoff after the horse became ill following a maiden race, and Secret Circle was primed off a single race in 2013, an October allowance at Santa Anita.

Secret Circle’s victory in the Sprint gave Baffert his fourth Sprint victory. He won it previously with Midnight Lute (2007-08) and Thirty Slews (1992). Although Baffert’s stable star Game On Dude ran ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, it was still a highly successful year for the veteran gelding. He joined Lava Man as just the second horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup, and Pacific Classic in the same year.

Fittingly for the Southern California-based Baffert, he won the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet with Streaming in the final meet in Hollywood Park history. Baffert, who turns 61 on Jan. 13, finished second among trainers behind Todd Pletcher in stable earnings, as he did in 2012. His horses made more than $15.3 million in 2013. He was also second in graded stakes victories by trainers in 2013, with 28, again trailing only Pletcher.

Baffert won Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer from 1997-99.