where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2018-03-30 14:39:03  
Baffert Hoping to Coast to the Top Again

He has been the understudy in the stable and this is West Coast's chance to step into the spotlight in a starring role in Saturday’s Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline.


“He’s always been in the shadow of Arrogate,” trainer Bob Baffert said while referring to his now retired trainee, who won last year’s edition of the race after storming to prominence in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic.


Using an American football analogy, Baffert compared Arrogate and the now 4-year-old West Coast to former San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young. With Young as his back-up, Montana won multiple Super Bowls as the game’s Most Valuable Player and then Young accomplished the same when he became the first-stringer. Both Montana and Young are enshrined in professional football’s Hall of Fame.


“Now it’s time for West Coast to be the starting quarterback. This race is his coming out party,” Baffert said.


Baffert, who also trained American Pharoah to the first American Triple Crown championship in 37 years and completed the Grand Slam with a Breeders’ Cup Classic win with the colt that same year, is confident that Gary and Mary West’s West Coast has what it takes to step up.


“He’s big and he’s really strong, and he’s got a high cruising speed. He’s a brute. He can carry 126 pounds. He has a good mind but he can be tough to handle. He’ll push you around a little bit. He’s very competitive. He’s a really good, top class horse. He’s on the rise, and he keeps getting better and better. I like the way he’s coming into this race,” he said.


Baffert is high on West Coast even though the colt finished second and third to Gun Runner, respectively in his last two outings in the 2018 Pegasus and the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Before tangling with Gun Runner, West Coast racked up a five-race win streak that included two Grade 1 scores.


“West Coast has gotten beat in his last couple of outs. But I still think he’s the best older horse in the United States right now. He’s run against some really good horses. The way he ran in the Pegasus was pretty impressive and Gun Runner’s not in here,” he said.



The trainer is so confident in his charge’s ability that he encouraged West Coast’s owners to be in attendance for the event even though Gary West does not care to travel and was wary of making the long journey to Dubai. The couple, who have been married for 47 years and called West Coast’s win in the 2017 Travers Stakes (G1) the greatest feeling they’ve yet experienced in their many decades of owning top-flight Thoroughbreds, arrived on Thursday.


“They know the hardships of this game and understand there are so many ups and downs. They know the disappointments can really get you down, but they are so excited about this horse and this race,” Baffert said.


The same can be said for the great conditioner.


“Arrogate and American Pharoah are the closest I’ll ever get to Secretariat. This is West Coast’s chance to put himself right up there with those names,” Baffert said.

 Image Drc

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • Dubai
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    four saf in inaugural nad al sheba classic2019-04-11

    Racing at Meydan on Friday, the final meeting of the UAE campaign, is highlighted by the inaugural N...

    View | Add Comment
    thunder rains down again2019-03-30

    Thunder Snow overcame a huge amount of difficulty to become the first horse in history to land conse...

    View | Add Comment
    the jet sails home in shaheen2019-03-30

    X Y Jet was first out of the gate and first home with a powerful front-running performance to captur...

    View | Add Comment
    almond eye has her big dubai day2019-03-30

    She arrived in Dubai with a huge reputation and Japan’s super filly Almond Eye proved herself ...

    View | Add Comment
    blues for everyone as godolphin take al quoz2019-03-30

    Blue Point stamped his claim to being the best sprinter on the planet when he stormed to victory in ...

    View | Add Comment
    pletcher takes the godolphin mile2019-03-30

    Over 1600m on the Meydan dirt surface, the $1.5 million Group 2 Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed...

    View | Add Comment
    melbourne cup winner becomes the gold cup winner 2019-03-30

    Cross Counter successfully bridged the gap between Australia and the UAE with a brilliant victory fo...

    View | Add Comment
    an almond eye on the world cup2019-03-29

    Dubai never fails to deliver and in so many ways too. HorseRacing being one of them and do they kn...

    View | Add Comment
    almond eye all the rage in dubai turf2019-03-28

    DUBAI (March 27, 2019)—There are few hotter properties in world racing right now than super ...

    View | Add Comment
    north america faces next frontier in dubai world cup2019-03-27

    DUBAI (March 27, 2019)—When the table is set for a race as wide open as the $12 million Duba...

    View | Add Comment