A native of Nogales, Ariz., Bob Baffert grew up loving horses and graduated from the University of Arizona Race Track Industry Program. After climbing to the top of the Quarter Horse racing world, where he trained four champions, Baffert began the transition to Thoroughbred racing in the late 1980s.
Baffert completed the move in 1991 when he gave up his Quarter Horse division and within a few years was one of the most successful trainers in Thoroughbred racing.
In 2015 he became the first trainer in 37 years to condition a Triple Crown winner when his American Pharoah tallied victories in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes. In all, Baffert has 12 victories in Triple Crown races: four Kentucky Derbys, six Preaknesses and two Belmonts. American Pharoah was the fourth Baffert trainee to move on to the Belmont Stakes with a shot at the Triple Crown following Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002).
Baffert finished second in all three Triple Crown races in 2012 with Bodemeister and Paynter. In 2014, Baffert trained classic hopeful Bayern, went on to win the Breeders' Cup Classic and was a Horse of the Year finalist. Baffert backed that up with a win by American Pharoah in the 2015 Classic.
He has won the Eclipse Award as outstanding trainer three times, has developed 11 horses that have won 14 Eclipse Awards as division champions, and was the national leader in purse earnings four consecutive years, 1998-2001. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009, and three of his stars, Silver Charm, Silverbulletday and Point Given, have been inducted, too.