07/13/2012 4:15PM

Hollywood Park: Garcia mends fences with Baffert

Shigeki Kikkawa
Martin Garcia is expected to resume riding for leading trainer Bob Baffert soon.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – After two months apart because of a dispute, jockey Martin Garcia has resumed working horses for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, and is likely to have mounts for the leading stable in the near future.

In May, Baffert said he would no longer employ Garcia because the rider did not appear for morning workouts and stated a desire to ride for other stables. Thursday, Garcia worked the multiple stakes winner The Factor for Baffert at Betfair Hollywood Park.

“He called me the other day and asked if he could help,” Baffert said. “He called me and said the right things. Things happen and sometimes people need a break from each other.”

Garcia won nine stakes on Baffert-trained runners earlier this year, including Eden’s Moon in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in March. Garcia rode the Baffert-trained Drill to a win in the Laz Barrera Memorial Stakes on May 19. Garcia had three wins for Baffert that day but has not ridden for him since.

Garcia is not booked to ride any Baffert-trained horses through Sunday’s final day at Hollywood Park. The Del Mar meeting opens on Wednesday.

Garcia rode The Factor to five stakes wins in 2011 and earlier this year. It is possible that Garcia could ride The Factor in his next scheduled start, the $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes over six furlongs at Del Mar on July 29. Baffert stopped short of giving Garcia the call for that race on Friday, saying that it depends on where other riders have commitments.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano rode The Factor to a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 30.

Even without the regular support of Baffert, Garcia has had a strong spring-summer meeting at Hollywood Park. Through Thursday, Garcia was tied for third in the standings with 26 wins.

JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
This news should make a lot of people happy. Many fans have bemoaned the strained relationship between Mr. Baffert and Mr. Garcia. Congratulations to them for working out their differences.
John Flynn More than 1 year ago
Martin is a GREAT JOCKEY!!! He is not a Hot Head!!! Baffert wasn't giving him 1st call!!! He apparently was doing all the workouts in the morning & was upset? "The Factor" Fits Him Like A Glove!!!
Leonard Martinez More than 1 year ago
Glad to hear that the Dynamic Duo has mended fence's, now let's get back to winning all the G1's and Big Money race's again before minor squabble.
The Baron More than 1 year ago
Garcia got a little full of himself and forgot that he was making sandwiches in Pleasanton untill former leading rider at Turf Paradise ,Mark Hanna helped him become a jock, not all that long ago. You just do not want to piss off a guy like Bob Baffert in this business - he has too many major horses and wins way too many races. Dumb Mexican jock/pin head finally realized that Baffert made him look good , not the other way around. He is lucky Bob is a good guy and willing to give him a second chance!! and if he has any brains he will not do it again. He can make a good living JUST Bafferts horses!! Meanwhile speaking of stupid jocks - what is Rosario doing?? he is getting no mounts in NY and the ones he gets ,make no money!! Why would he leave the West Coast where he was a Big Fish in a Small Pond to be just another name at Belmont?? He best get his butt back here , or he will not be able to pay his rent!!
Suzanne Thomas More than 1 year ago
Dunno about what you just said about Joel Rosario. He won the Arlington Handicap yesterday on Rahystrada, and was second on Musktier (GER) in the Stars and Stripes Handicap. He took home $14,320 for both of those races. I think that could pay rent for quite a while, and put a lot of groceries on the table. Today, he has 7 mounts on the Belmont card. Doesn't look like "he's getting no mounts in NY."
Allen Payne More than 1 year ago
After a quick thought I would say this re-kindling of a relationship is far more favorable to Martin Garcia then to Bob Baffert .....When Baffert puts a horse in a race , its all systems GO , The california colony of jocks is filled with talent ; there are many who could win for Baffert on a regular basis ,they just need the chance ..Im wondering how the Owners feel about jocks who fail to show up to work their horses ? Baffert must have a really forgiving nature ...
Allen Payne More than 1 year ago
Jerome Moynihan More than 1 year ago
well said,RD.
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
Good to see them back together. They made a nice team. Classy move by Baffert to take the high road, obviously he held the cards here.