09/03/2012 2:07PM

Bill Baffert Sr. dies; father of Bob Baffert

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DEL MAR - Bill Baffert Sr., the father of Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, died on Monday at his home in Nogales, Ariz. He was 88.

Nicknamed “The Chief,” Bill Baffert was the mentor for his son as a trainer, and was the inspiration for his son’s witty brand of humor.

“Very sad day,” Baffert said in a text.

During a recent visit late last month, Baffert said his father retained his sense of humor, even in declining health.

“I told him I was going to run out and grab something to eat,” Baffert recalled when he returned the next day from Nogales. “My dad was sitting in his favorite chair, watching TV. He laughed and said, ‘I’m not going anywhere.’”