Times have been pretty good around the Bob Baffert barn of late. As the most recognizable face in the Thoroughbred game today, the silver-haired fox has recently completed a rock star tour with his second Triple Crown winner. The unbeaten and ultra-impressive Justify has kept the hall of fame conditioner front and center in the sporting world as he executed Baffert’s game plan in a flawless four-footed fashion. Powerful scores in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes were sandwiched around a gutty performance in the Preakness. After becoming the 13th runner to complete perhaps the toughest task in all of sports, Justify was paraded at both Churchill Downs and Santa Anita in “Rolling Stones” fashion. No female underwear was thrown his way (or at least we don’t think so), but this hero was honored by his many adoring fans. Of course, now the $149 question is, what’s next? Not one to make long-range plans, Baffert says he has NO plans right now for Justify and is in fact still trying to just figure out what’s for supper tonight. Preferring to keep things nice and easy for his three-year old superstar, life just needs to be mellow right now.
Life does not stand still in this game however, and now the Arizona native is thinking about that “other” three-year old that has been in the Baffert barn. Before Justify busted out his supercharged self, McKinzie was a blossoming superstar. Three wins and a second in four lifetime starts had labeled this son of Street Sense as Baffert’s next hot prospect and the top three-year old on the West coast. Injury took him off the Kentucky Derby trail in March, but now a little rest and relaxation time has allowed him to heal. According to Baffert, McKinzie is ikely to toe the track at Del Mar this summer. If things can go according to plan, Baffert will have more than one outstanding runner in the same division. No stranger this type of success, after he figures out what vittles will grace the dinner plate, he will come up with a plan to maximize his stable of stars.