Tears and Smiles at Saratoga
Each year there are so many worthy nominees for the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, but unfortunately, not everyone can win a place in racing history. This year, five major contributors to thoroughbred horse racing were honored in a stylish ceremony in Saratoga, on Friday 14 August 2009. One of the inductees this year was Bob Baffert, and it was an extremely special moment for him and his family and friends, as he was called to the podium to accept his induction into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame as contemporary trainer.
For Bob Baffert, his interest and start in horse racing came from his father, who would pick him up after school and take him to ride in match races. He was therefore able to grow up with a love for horses and within the industry. Talking from the podium, with his parents, close friends and family in the audience, the usually cool and calm trainer could not hold back his emotions as he spoke of the support and love he received on his road to success. Baffert said that the emotions began overwhelming him as he arrived in the city as the reality of his achievement began to hit home.
What made the ceremony even more special for Bob Baffert, was the fact that a horse by the name of Silverbulletday was also inducted, and his owner, Mike Pegram was there to accept the honor. Pegram convinced Baffert to change from Quarter Horse racing to thoroughbred horse racing and Silverbulletday gave them a few victories to remember. Silverbulletday was inducted as the contemporary horses, having won fifteen of his twenty three career starts, and was the champion two and three year old horse in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Other inductees into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame included steeplechase trainer Janet Elliot, jockey Eddy Maple, contemporary horse Tiznow and steeplechase horse Ben Nevis II. This year, there was a top class group of inductees, which have each made a great impact on the world of horse racing in their respective disciplines. The Hall of Fame is definitely honored to have theses great names in racing, grace their walls.