After climbing to the top of Quarter Horse racing, where he trained four champions, Baffert began the transition to Thoroughbred racing in the late 1980s.
The native of the border town of Nogales, Ariz., 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.
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.
Based in California, Baffert has won major stakes across the country. He has been especially effective in the Triple Crown series with nine victories: three Derbys, five Preaknesses and one Belmont. Baffert ranks sixth in career purse earnings by a trainer with $171 million.
Baffert finished second in all three Triple Crown races in 2012 with Bodemeister and Paynter.