WHY BOB BAFFERT DESERVES THE ECLIPSE TRAINER AWARD FOR 2018

The Eclipse award for trainer of the year may go to Chad Brown, who had a phenomenal 2018 and topped the earnings list, although he did not train the winner of a classic race.  While Brown’s achievements are laudatory, my hands-down pick for the award would be Bob Baffert, who was fourth on the 2018 earnings list.  Here’s why.

Since the unofficial beginning of the American Triple Crown in 1919, 13 colts have achieved the feat.  However, only eleven trainers have won a Triple Crown because James “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons and Bob Baffert each trained two of the 13 colts.  Fitzsimmons won with Gallant Fox (1930) and Omaha (1935) and Baffert with American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018).

Logic would dictate that the Eclipse Award go to the man who accomplished in 2018 what only eleven trainers in 100 years have been able to do—win a Triple Crown.  Even rarer–in fact, exceedingly rare–is that Baffert has won two Triple Crowns.  The odds are astronomical for a trainer winning a single Triple Crown, much less two.

Did anyone top what Baffert did in 2018?

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