Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So I'm on the phone with Bob Baffert, and he's telling me about Wynning Ride, who's going in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday at Belmont Park, and I hear some weird background noise, something about iced Mocha Latte.

"Hold on, I have something important to do," he says.

And I hear him say, "I'll take a burger, medium fries, and a coke."

Baffert, who is to be inducted into racing's Hall of Fame on Aug. 15, three-time Derby winning trainer, conditioner of multiple Eclipse Award winners, is in the drive-in lane at McDonald's???

"You know how it is at Del Mar," he explains. "The lines, you can't get anything to eat."

"They couldn't sell you on the iced Mocha Latte?" I ask.

"Mocha, that's not me," he says.

"More importamt, have you started writing your speech for the induction," I ask.

"No," he says. "And I'm worried. I can tell a story, but I can't give a speech."

"So that's what you need to do -- tell a story."

"Yeah, but which one?"

I have no answer for this (but my mind is reeling with the possibilities) and by this time, he's paying and he obviously needs to eat.

"When are you getting to Saratoga?"

"Some of the horses are shpping in on the fifth, I'll be in probably the eighth or ninth."

"See you then."

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