10/16/2016 3:50PM

Trainer Baffert, jockey Garcia together again after six-month break

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Martin Garcia, shown working Dortmund last year, has begun exercising horses for trainer Bob Baffert.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia, who have teamed to win Grade 1 races such as the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Santa Anita Derby, and Los Alamitos Futurity the last two years, are working together after a break of nearly six months.

Garcia worked horses for Baffert at Santa Anita on Sunday for the first time since April. The two parted ways because of differences in the spring, after having formed a partnership in recent seasons that saw Garcia frequently work and ride Baffert’s leading runners.

Baffert said on Sunday that Garcia approached him at the end of the Del Mar summer meeting last month about helping his stable. He said his relationship with the rider “was getting a little sour” last spring.

“At the end of Del Mar, he came to talk,” Baffert said. “To me, I’ve always had the Quarter Horse thing where one guy works for me. He’s been wanting to help work horses. He’s helped me to win some big races.”

In Quarter Horse racing, jockeys are often closely allied with individual stables. Garcia, who turns 32 on Oct. 23, rode the Baffert-trained Collected to a win in the Racing Festival Stakes at Sunland Park in March, their most recent stakes win together.

In recent seasons for Baffert, Garcia won such Grade 1 races as the 2014 Los Alamitos Derby and 2015 Santa Anita Derby with Dortmund, and the 2014 BC Classic with Bayern. Baffert said that riders such as Rafael Bejarano and Stewart Elliott will continue to work horses for him as they have in recent months, but said change was needed and that Garcia will be part of the stable’s ongoing structure.

 

Eli Dawkins More than 1 year ago
Martin is back where he belong and Baffert is way more comfortable when martin is working his horses he is the rider he trust most said so himself so I say hooray
Nathan More than 1 year ago

HE'S JUST ONE OF 10 FIRST RATE JOCKS IN CALIFORNIA..

EVEN WITHOUT BAFFERT HE RODE FOR FIRST CLASS TRAINERS.

HE'S JUST AVERAGE. NOTHING SPECIAL.

HORSES MAKE JOCKS, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

A VERY OVER RATED DANGEROUS WAY TO MAKE A LIVING.

Becky Wise More than 1 year ago
Glad he'll be riding Dortmund.  He's a smart rider.  
Frank Lewkowitz More than 1 year ago
KISSING JILLS BEHIND WILL REALLY HELP MARTIN. iTS TOUGH BUT NEEDS TO BE DONE , ALSO TELLING HIM HIS SON IS STILL CUTE CANT HURT
marble42 More than 1 year ago
good luck Martin
Lew Gelbman More than 1 year ago
it's hard to stay in good graces with Bob
GU1961 More than 1 year ago
Yay! They've kissed and made up! I love the Baffert/Garcia team and look forward to them winning races together again. Ooooh, just in time for Breeder's Cup!
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
It didn't work for Faust, either, Martin ;-)
Jerry Mann More than 1 year ago
OK!!! KISS AND MAKE UP!!!
cg4parts More than 1 year ago
I always thought there was more to this  "story"  than what  I've  read in the paper  (really... think were told the truth about anything?)
 Early in the year I noticed Mr. Garcia wincing after getting a leg up on a horse, and recognized the look immediately.   Lower back pain.  Bad.
Compressed disk, etc...
And how long does it take for a "bad" back to heal? 
A surgeon from UCLA told me about 6 months. And if you do the math,  its been 6 months from when this "feud " first started ( or when we first heard about it)  till now.


And does this have anything to do with Bejarano telling  Mr  " Sunglasses at night" that  Dortmund will be an "also ran" in the Breeder's Cup??  and to find another rider..... 


  
Gaye Goodwin More than 1 year ago
honesty is not rewarded
Richard Holmes More than 1 year ago
Garcia has been riding the whole time. If he had a bad back, how would it have healed without a rest? There is nothing more to the story than what has been reported.