Bob Baffert's Derby success

Most top American trainers strive to develop horses so that they deliver a peak performance in the Kentucky Derby, but Bob Baffert is unquestionably the contemporary master of the art. He made his first appearance at Churchill Downs in 1996 -- when he lost a heartbreaking photo finish with Cavonnier -- and he has saddled a total of 20 horses, winning with three and finishing second twice. His trio of winners -- Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem -- all came back to win the Preakness as well. Almost every Baffert starter in the Derby who was expected to run well has done so, except for Point Given, who disappointed as the favorite in 2001. Baffert saddles Midnight Interlude in Saturday's race, and a victory would put him in a tie for second on the list of the winningest Derby trainers, trailing only the legendary Ben Jones, who captured the race six times. Baffert's record:

Year Horse Finish
1996 Cavonnier 2nd
Semoran 14th
1997 Silver Charm 1st
1998 Real Quiet 1st
Indian Charlie 3rd
1999 Prime Timber 4th
Excellent Meeting 5th
General Challenge 11th
2000 Captain Steve 8th
2001 Congaree 3rd
Point Given 5th
2002 War Emblem 1st
2003 Indian Express 14th
2005 Sort It Out 17th
2006 Point Determined 9th
Sinister Minister 16th
Bob and John 17th
2009 Pioneer of the Nile 2nd
2010 Lookin at Lucky 6th
Conveyance 15th

By Andrew Beyer - The Washington Post. Published May 4, 2011.