01/05/2018 12:10PM

2017 Eclipse Awards: Bob Baffert


Propelled by the early-season success of Arrogate, winner of the Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup, Hall of Fame trainer Baffert finished 2017 with the richest yearly haul of earnings of his prestigious career, with his stable making more than $21.1 million in North America and more than $27.3 million when earnings from the Dubai World Cup are included. His success in 2017 has made Baffert a finalist for his fifth Eclipse Award as champion trainer.

Baffert concluded 2017 with higher earnings in North America among trainers than all but Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher. He would be first in earnings if Arrogate’s victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup was counted.

Nearly 1 of every 10 Baffert starters last year won a Grade 1 race, with 11 of his 115 runners scoring at that level. He won 14 Grade 1 stakes in North America in 2017, including the Met Mile with Mor Spirit; the Pacific Classic with Collected; the Gold Cup at Santa Anita with Cupid; the Travers and Pennsylvania Derby with West Coast; the Forego with Drefong; the Awesome Again with Mubtaahij; the Santa Margarita with Vale Dori; the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn, and Coaching Club American Oaks with Abel Tasman; the Starlet with Dream Tree; and the Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity (via disqualification) with McKinzie.

West Coast and Abel Tasman are widely expected to be voted champion 3-year-old male and 3-year-old filly, respectively.

Although shut out of winning a Breeders’ Cup race in 2017, Baffert had four runners finish second – Collected, Abel Tasman, Solomini, and Alluring Star. West Coast ran third behind Gun Runner and Collected in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Baffert concluded 2017 with 30 North American graded stakes victories from 97 starts, a 31 percent win rate, the highest of any trainer in North America with at least 15 graded stakes starts.

Baffert, 65, won three consecutive Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer from 1997-99 before adding a fourth in 2015.