Baffert's Most Talented Trainee

Somnambulist
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Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:56 pm

As a way to combat mind race after a long day I like to try to list the top 3 finishers in a specific stakes race back to 1998, which is when I started following racing.

Last night I did the Derby and really struggled with who won in 2001 because I initially thought it was Point Given. Which is clearly not the case. Memory being a strange thing aside, this got had me wondering all day who the best horse of Baffert's I have seen was.

And really, I have to say, it was Point Given.
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thinair
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:25 am

Better than Arrogate?
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Curtis
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:27 am

I would take Arrogate. The ability to win on the lead, the way he won the Travers, stalk and running down a very nice horse like Chrome in the BCC and getting left and then just gaining momentum throughout the rest of the race when he blasted Gun Runner in Dubai is incredibly special. It would have been fun to see Point Given have faced Tiznow but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Baffert’s two TC winners are special too. I will say this. Having made my living as an educator most of my adult life, I got better at it as time passed. I got students to achieve more later on because I was better at what I did. So what also would have been fun would be to see what the guy that trained Arrogate could have done with Point Given.
stark
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 am

Pretty sure I remember Gary Stevens saying Point Given was the best horse he ever rode, or the best horse to ever look thru a bridle, something like that.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Somnambulist
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:33 am

thinair wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:25 am
Better than Arrogate?
"Best" is definitely a silly subjective argument, but still least PG stayed good for more than a few months.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
thinair
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:58 am

Somnambulist wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:33 am
thinair wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:25 am
Better than Arrogate?
"Best" is definitely a silly subjective argument, but still least PG stayed good for more than a few months.
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Flanders
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:01 am

stark wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 am
Pretty sure I remember Gary Stevens saying Point Given was the best horse he ever rode, or the best horse to ever look thru a bridle, something like that.
Pretty sure Stevens said that about every horse he rode.
thinair
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:07 am

Somnambulist wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:33 am
thinair wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:25 am
Better than Arrogate?
"Best" is definitely a silly subjective argument, but still least PG stayed good for more than a few months.
How long was Point Given's run? I don't remember if he raced after the BC, but he was second in the Champagne behind AP Valentine ( he was best though ) and second in the Juvenile to Macho Uno at the end of his 2YO year. His SA Derby was solid, as was his Preakness win ( though hardly spectacular ), while his Belmont win was terrific, but that is a race that can exaggerate results ( 12 furlongs on the dirt ). His Haskell was solid but his Travers win was a decent victory over E Dubai, a good horse but hardly memorable. Do any of these efforts eclipse a single race during Arrogate's Travers, Classic, Pegasus, World Cup run? Frankly, I'm not sure any were significantly better than Arrogate's loss in the Pacific Classic.

Point Given might have improved, and I'm not trying to knock him as he was terrific, but he retired after the Travers and never faced older horses. He had a longer run than Arrogate if you include his terrific 2YO season, but it's not as though he lasted for a long time either.


Maybe it's just me, as I never got the great hype surrounding Point Given. It feels like your opinion is much more in the majority than mine.
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ElPrado2
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:16 am

Every horse Gary Stevens ever rode was the best he ever rode. Just ask that question using a name of a horse he rode. Consummate polititian.
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Flanders
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:17 am

Baffert has trained a lot of really talented horses. I will say American Pharoah. Of course, I will say my view is probably skewed by my love of the horse.

Point Given was great though. Churchill Downs was a speedway in 2001, fastest splits in Derby history, all the horses near the lead faded except Congaree who hung on for 3rd. I remember being so disappointed when he got injured and retired after the Travers. Maybe my thoughts would be different if I could have seen him run in the Breeders Cup Classic. Definitely hold him higher than Arrogate, who was brilliant when he was on but it was too short of a time for me.
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Mylute
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:33 am

Hoppertunity because he raced past six months and past three, teehee.
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Spahny
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:38 am

Mylute wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:33 am
Hoppertunity because he raced past six months and past three, teehee.
Then it would be Game On Dude who ran one of the best races you will ever see in the 2014 Big Cap at age 7.

American Pharoah ran progressively better races throughout the Triple Crown series and then ran the best race of his life in the BC Classic. We'll never know but it sure seems like he would have just kept on winning as a 4yo. He also never required any help from a stablemate. :evil:
Somnambulist
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:45 am

Game on Dude was definitely the most fun horse he's trained. I still feel he was robbed of HOTY.
"Life's no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe's my own to fool with."
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ElPrado2
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:48 am

If you had a 3 year old entire in your barn, 200 breeders clamoring for shares, and owners with dollar signs for eyes, you would be retiring them yourself. The owner retires them when he wants to, injury or sound.
stark
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:56 am

Not intending to hijack the thread as I do find it interesting, what if we try a different trainer, is it any easier to pick the most talented in the barn?



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I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
stark
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:57 am

Flanders wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:01 am
stark wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 am
Pretty sure I remember Gary Stevens saying Point Given was the best horse he ever rode, or the best horse to ever look thru a bridle, something like that.
Pretty sure Stevens said that about every horse he rode.
You're just kidding, right?
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Blame
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:58 am

1 Arrogate (Travers and DWC brilliant)
2 Silver Charm
3 American Pharoah
4 Point Given
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Curtis
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:50 pm

stark wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:57 am
Flanders wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:01 am
stark wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 am
Pretty sure I remember Gary Stevens saying Point Given was the best horse he ever rode, or the best horse to ever look thru a bridle, something like that.
Pretty sure Stevens said that about every horse he rode.
You're just kidding, right?
The only jock, that cones to mind, that never wavered much on their best ever was Pincay with Affirmed. For all others, I take it with a grain of salt. As I’ve often said because of Gary, I had to buy stock in Morton’s. He has said it about unraced 2yo’s. Whenever I hear him say it, my eyes immediately begin rolling to the extent I can hear my late mother say, “You better stop that, your face will stay like that.”
stark
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:54 pm

Curtis wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:50 pm

The only jock, that cones to mind, that never wavered much on their best ever was Pincay with Affirmed. For all others, I take it with a grain of salt. As I’ve often said because of Gary, I had to buy stock in Morton’s. He has said it about unraced 2yo’s. Whenever I hear him say it, my eyes immediately begin rolling to the extent I can hear my late mother say, “You better stop that, your face will stay like that.”
I forget the exact question, but the answer Pincay gave in one interview was Landaluce!
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Flanders
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Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:59 pm

stark wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:57 am
Flanders wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:01 am
stark wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 am
Pretty sure I remember Gary Stevens saying Point Given was the best horse he ever rode, or the best horse to ever look thru a bridle, something like that.
Pretty sure Stevens said that about every horse he rode.
You're just kidding, right?
Yes and no. I typed it as a joke but Gary did like to say that about a lot of horses. Other horses included in that list are Beholder and Rock Hard Ten and I know there were others.
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