Bob Baffert's Preakness mastery

Bob Baffert has compiled an extraordinary record in the Preakness, winning with five of his 12 starters since his first appearance in 1996. If his colt Bodemeister gets to the winner's circle Saturday, the trainer will be within one victory of the all-time record of seven held by Robert Wyndham Walden, who achieved his success between 1873 and 1888.

Baffert's success is no accident. In an era when trainers prefer to manage horses gently and give them plenty of time between races, many are hesitant to run in the Preakness only two weeks after competing in the Derby. (Todd Pletcher, for example, has had only seven Preakness starters during a period when he ran 31 horses in the Derby.) But Baffert's hard style of training seems to get horses fit for the rigors of the Triple Crown series.

His three Kentucky Derby winners, Silver Charm, Real Quiet and War Emblem, all duplicated their strong performances when they ran at Pimlico. Baffert's record:

Year Horse Finish
2011 Midnight Interlude 13th
2010 Lookin at Lucky 1st
2009 Pioneerof the Nile 11th
2003 Senor Swinger 5th
2002 War Emblem 1st
2001 Point Given 1st
2001 Congaree 3rd
2000 Captain Steve 4th
1999 Excellent Meeting DNF
1998 Real Quiet 1st
1997 Silver Charm 1st
1996 Cavonnier 4th

By Andrew Beyer - The Washington Post. Published May 16, 2012.