Updated on 04/27/2016 6:48PM

Garcia and Baffert have falling-out

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Martin Garcia was the regular work rider for American Pharoah (above) last year and for Mor Spirit this year.

Jockey Martin Garcia, an integral part of trainer Bob Baffert's barn and the rider usually entrusted to work his elite horses, will not be in Kentucky for Derby Week and has no scheduled mounts at Los Alamitos on Thursday or Friday, all after taking time off following a falling-out with Baffert in recent days.

Garcia was scheduled to be part of Baffert's team at Churchill Downs on Tuesday when Mor Spirit worked, but did not make the trip. According to Baffert, he has not been in contact with the trainer after saying he needed to do something last weekend.

"I think he needs a break for awhile," Baffert said Wednesday after returning to California, where he will spend a few days before heading back to Louisville over the weekend. "Sometimes I'm hard on him. I'm his biggest critic. I'm not mad at him. I just wish he'd have told me what was going on.

"He works hard. Sometimes you need to get away, reboot the system. I know he told his agent he was going to take time off and be back for when Santa Anita starts up next week."

“He went to visit his family in Mexico,” Matos said. “He texted me and he’s eager to get back.”

Garcia is 0 for 9 at the current Los Alamitos meeting, which ends Sunday. Matos confirmed that Garcia will not be in Kentucky next week to work Baffert’s horses, including Mor Spirit.

Baffert said jockey David Lopez would be part of his team at Churchill Downs for Derby Week. Lopez is named on Toews On Ice in the opening-night feature Saturday at Churchill, the William Walker, and will remain in Louisville to assist with works. He was on Jimbo Fallon on Tuesday when that horse worked with Mor Spirit, who had regular rider Gary Stevens up for the work.

Garcia had worked Mor Spirit most of this year, including his final drill before the Santa Anita Derby. He was expected to be at Churchill Downs on Tuesday for Mor Spirit's work before his falling out with Baffert. And he was scheduled to give Mor Spirit his final pre-Derby workout next week at Churchill.

Last year, Garcia was the regular work rider for American Pharoah. He also finished third in the Derby aboard Dortmund.

"He played a very important role with American Pharoah," Baffert said. "It'll play out. Things just came to a head."

Alan Mesa 9 months ago
Martin should've kissed Bob Bafferts butt everyday & twice on Sunday.
Little Mexican just shot himself in the foot & will regret it for the rest of his life.
Bob Baffert was the best & luckiest thing that ever happened to Martin & he'll never get to ride the trainer in the country again.
What a dummy!
Don Gross 11 months ago
Are you kidding me....Martin Garcia is and was the best thing to happen to Bob Baffert and all of his clientele!! Without Martin; Bob Baffert would not be where he is today !!  Bob needs to surrender his ego and arrogance and admit that Martin is probably the best jockey ever born to ride any horse on the planet !! 
John Burton More than 1 year ago
Hey, these things happen. Bob is admitting that he can be har, at times, with Martin. And that they both need a break for awhile. So every relationship needs a "time-out" once in a while. As Bob said, after the break, they will "re-boot" and get back to work. Last year was such a ride for the Baffert-Zayat Team. They probably felt like they were living in a fish bowl - all eyes were on the Baffert-Zayat Team last year! It must have been a pressure cooker. So things built-up and the pot boiled-over...so? ...so a time-out and a time-away will reduce the pressure and they will resume their productive working relationship! Good for them!
Frank More than 1 year ago
I think Garcia should just stay in Mexico -- I dont like him!
VICTOR More than 1 year ago
We saw marteen come off Hopportunity lately, nuff said  !!!!!!!!
cg4parts More than 1 year ago
Want the truth?
Its an arthritic lower back. Cant ride  (right now)  as great as he used to.
 Now the "red-herring" theories abound.
Cliff Amyotte More than 1 year ago
Frankly who cares, I watch and wager and i only care how much i win or lose.They have their part and I play mine. Thank you, thank you very much!
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Why doesnt anyone remember the reason there may have been a fallout in 2012 ?   Mythical power was a good horse who finished second to quality road in the grade 1 woodward stakes.  Mythical power finished 9th in a grade 2 derby undercard stakes race.  Then took a year off and showed up in a $12,500 claiming race.  Garcia rode him to a second place finish and the horse was claimed.  Garcia quit the next day. Mythical power then ran in a $40,000 race in colorado and finished way back and never ran again.  Did they send him to colorado so they could use more pain killing bute in him ?    I sided with garcia
barrbeantown More than 1 year ago
all I am saying is the little guys like blacker,aggurie,and so on and son are good for the game!!some big fish like bobby baffert wont give the fans the time of day to drink coffee with them in mornings,or better yet stand next to them and watch the race together and get a true insight on whats going on!!noway nohow bob baffert would really tell you nothing!!Jamie ness come out and tell the fan what he thinks!!!and I have a good time with him
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Jamie ness come on.thats so funny it's untouchable.
John Cosentino More than 1 year ago
You couldn't be more wrong about Baffert. I am an ordinary betting joe, who ran into Baffert at Belmont And Saratoga. Both times he engaged in conversation, asked ME questions and was a pleasure to be around.
Matt King More than 1 year ago
Martin started feeling himself and Baffert had to put him back in his place once again! He should appreciate the opportunity that Baffert has giving him over the last 8 years or so. He wasn't even a to 10 jockey here in SoCal before Baffert gave him  the opportunity to ride for him . He'd back at Golden Gate Fields or quite possibly making  sandwiches again if it wasn't for Baffert.
Todd Elliot More than 1 year ago
barr mentions blacker who is hardly a world class trainer..wow