When 2011 Derby winner Animal Kingdom beat five horses in a $60,000 allowance race on the Gulfstream Park turf course in February, he became the first Kentucky Derby winner to win a subsequent race since Big Brown ended his... more »
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert had just suffered a heart attack in Dubai and awaited surgery to insert three stents into two blocked arteries. Baffert's wife, Jill, wanted to reassure the high-powered owner that the barn would run seamlessly.
The call jolted Zayat. Baffert, 59, never seemed vulnerable in his relentless pursuit of a fourth Derby triumph, which would tie him for second on the all-time list and leave him two behind the late Ben Jones. His preoccupation with business at such a moment says much about the 24-7 pressure trainers face and perhaps explains why he was lying on a stretcher half a world away from his Arcadia, Calif., home.