Breeder: Helen Alexander (Ky.)
Sire (father): Offlee Wild
Dam (mother): Alittlebitearly, by Thunder Gulch
From the family of Courtley Dee, one of the greatest broodmares of the 20th Century, Bayern won his first two career starts by a combined margin of 18 1/4 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
He followed those efforts with a third-place finish in the Arkansas Derby and a victory in the Derby Trial Stakes, but was disqualified in the Derby Trial and placed second. He then finished ninth in the 2014 Preakness Stakes.
After the Triple Crown, Bayern really started to show his true, elite ability.
He sprinted to a 7 1/2-length win over Top Fortitude and Social Inclusion in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes on the Belmont Stakes undercard. He nearly duplicated that win margin in the Haskell Invitational Stakes, romping by 7 1/4 lengths to record his first Grade 1 victory and defeating Albano, Wildcat Red and filly Untapable among others. With the win, he earned a place in the starting gate of the Breeders' Cup Classic to be run in November.
After a disapponting last-place finish in the Travers Stakes, Bayen bounced back in a big way by setting a new 1 1/8-mile track record when winning the $1-million Pennsylvania Derby. He defeated dual classic winner California Chrome as well as Grade 2 winners Tapiture and Candy Boy in the Pennsylvania Derby, and he broke a track record that had stood since 1974.
Bayern further solidified his reputation in the Breeders' Cup Classic, where he set the pace and held off Toast of New York and California Chrome to prevail in the $5-million race. The victory placed Bayern in the 2014 Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male discussion.