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Bob Baffert: “No one ever calls an objection in the Derby”

(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

It has been almost two whole days since Maximum Security won then lost the Kentucky Derby and the controversial finish is still a hot topic across the sports world. Maximum Security’s owner, Gary West, announced via the Today Show that he will be appealing the decision and confirmed Maximum Security will skip the Preakness in two weeks.

Then there is this saucy quote from Bob Baffert to Sports Illustrated:

No one ever calls an objection in the Derby,” Baffert told me Sunday afternoon, by text. “It’s always a roughly run race. Twenty-horse field. I have been wiped out numerous times, but that is the Derby. I can see by the book why they did it. But sometimes you’ve got to take your ass-kickings with dignity.” [SI.com]

Bob With The Good Hair had three contenders in this year’s Derby and even he thinks Maximum Security should’ve worn the winning garland Saturday evening because the Derby is a different beast in horse racing. He also said Maximum Security is “the real deal” and “the best three-year-old in the country.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

31 Comments for Bob Baffert: “No one ever calls an objection in the Derby”



  1. RackEmWillie
    1:19 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    “I can see by the book why they did it” just means it was the right decision. Period.

    Saying that you don’t do something because the stage is bigger or smaller, is an absolutely stupid argument.

    “I know it’s against the rules to have 6 men on the court in basketball, but it was the final possession of the championship game. You just don’t make that call in that situation.” See, it’s stupid.



    • makeitstop
      1:55 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Yea I like Baffert and he prolly wouldn’t have objected, but that’s his choice. He’ll be back next year, but this guy had his horse primed and came from nowhere and he may never get another shot. Moreover, the move looks unsafe and if I were that jockey on #1 I’d have been pissed. Those are mean little guys – they used to fight all the time over stuff like this, they may still.



    • Thetruthshallsetbennyfree
      2:01 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      I get what you’re saying but the basketball reference was a bad one because at this point the games would be fairer if we did take refs out, all they do is try and make themselves more important than the players, coaches, and the game itself. Someone always ends up screwed.



    • unbridled
      2:58 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Exactly. Just because it’s on the largest stage doesn’t mean you discard the written rules. The stewards had no choice to DQ the 7 horse. They can’t allow that much disturbance to go on. It’s a safety issue. Thank god the 1 horse didn’t go down. It would have been tragic on so many levels. The 7 horse was allowed to run out of control and had no business winning. This was the only acceptable outcome.



    • makeitstop
      2:59 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Truth, funny u say that bc I said something similar right after it happened: it’s not like a TV Teddy situation where the officials love the publicity and take over a game, the Stewards are the opposite. They toil in obscurity and obviously were uncomfortable being thrust in the spotlight which I felt made them more credible.



    • Duff86
      5:10 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Country House (terrible name) is bad for the racing establishment (the Bob Bafferts). Pure politics at this point, even though the Stewards made the right call on a terribly difficult decision.



  2. BBNnCLE
    1:27 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    I’d like to know what those who object this would be saying if War of Will didn’t avoid Maximum Security’s hind legs and fell, causing multiple jockey and horse injuries and maybe even deaths? Let’s just throw the refs out of the NBA playoffs and go full on prison rules.



    • RackEmWillie
      1:31 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      If War of Will clipped his back legs, people would be absolutely out for blood. They wouldn’t rest until Maximum Security was in horse prison.



    • makeitstop
      1:46 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      True – and as I pointed out the other day, same jockey Luis Saez has been suspended for 3-5 days at Keeneland, Gulfstream, Belmont and Saratoga that I can identify. This year at Gulfstream, last year at Keeneland I think the year before in NY. I don’t think it’s unheard of to get suspended but it’s all pretty similar on paper. I haven’t seen the video. I don’t believe the “he’s a baby, he was spooked” story bc a) he offered it immediately after the race before we even knew it was an issue (but he did); b) he’s done it before and c) he immediately broke back to the rail, sealing off another horse coming up; plus d) the crowd is loud, but on the infield – where he’d be running away from – they are separated by the turf course, and a pretty long way from the firm.



    • NostraDanis
      3:42 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Baffert is doing 2 things: getting some derby attention on himself that he’s gotten used to, and doing a little horse-racing industry politicking. He and the Maximum Security connections are west coast racers, so he’s scoring points with them.
      The foul was a foul, Bobby just needed some microphone time.



    • makeitstop
      1:47 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      That’s *from the turn



  3. StillBP
    1:30 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    Meh, speaking of dignity, they sure are crying a lot. Also saw where Maximum’s owner called the Derby greedy for “risking horse’s and peoples’ lives by having 20 horses in the race.” So if the Derby is greedy and risking lives bc they put 20 horses in it, what does that say about an owner who willingly entered his horse in the race when he knew in advance there would be that many horses racing? Pot and kettle meet.



  4. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    1:49 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    It was 20 horses. That is totally different when you go plus 10 in the numbers. Horses cannot think like humans obviously, you cant compare the replay from other sports. Humans consciously know the intent when tripping, goal tending or whatever the foul is, horses act on instinct. The rule/ruling is bogus. BTW I bet on other horses as well. It was a bush league move, hence why its never been done.



    • runningunnin.454
      2:20 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Agree; are we to believe in 144 races that there was no bumping, rubbing, yet…silence. It might be easy to call Baffert’s statement stupid; but, he works with these animals on a daily basis, and is a respected trainer.
      His horses have won 5 Derbies, and two Triple Crowns; and, I’m going to respect his comments. I don’t bet on horse races; but, I think it was a bad decision.



    • StillBP
      2:36 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Horses can’t think like humans, but what if the jockey allowed the horse to veer because he knew the other horse was going to pass? And then he blamed it on the horse being spooked. Is it not worthy of an objection just bc no one ever objects? It’s okay to let a jockey play dirty when everyone else is abiding by the rules?



    • runningunnin.454
      2:53 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      I just think with 19 horses, and 6 bunched up as they were, bumping is inevitable, and very dangerous.
      I don’t think a jockey would endanger his life, or that of his mount.



    • makeitstop
      3:04 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      BP is right – that’s what the stewards are there for. If it wasn’t meritorious they would’ve fallen back on the part of the rule that allows them to find a foul but not DQ bc it did not “alter the race”. (Man I wish we had that in football. Would’ve cost us Mizzou but we’d hv won a lot more through the years.)



    • unbridled
      3:04 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t recall ever seeing such an egregious violation of the rules in the last 35 years. The 7’s trip was atrocious and borderline malicious. The only acceptable result was a disqualification. No way around that.



    • ukcamel
      4:11 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Just for the record, plenty of horses have been DQ’d In the last 144 years, just not any that crossed the line first.

      Also I’ve never seen a horse commit such an obvious and egregious foul in the Derby. I think if the stewards had any reasonable basis to let it stand they would have. With the available replay they did not.



    • unbridled
      4:42 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      Agreed completely camel



  5. BigJohnC
    2:37 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    Can we stop beating a dead horse and let it rest? Ba-dum-ting



  6. sprtphan
    3:08 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    He is absolutely right. Don’t get in a 20 horse race and expect clear sailing.



    • unbridled
      3:12 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      It’s not about that. There are rules. They must be followed. If they allow the 7 horse to run the way he did, horse racing days are numbered. The 7 horse and jockey literally jeopardized the lives of a lot of people and horses. The DQ was the only option.



  7. dandycat
    4:15 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    You witnessed the death of Horse Racing on Saturday. It will be a slow death, but with the nonsense that has gone on at Santa Anita this year, and the “ruling” from the stewards at the altering what was the most pure form of racing. All I can say is the 20 was #notmyDerbywinner



    • dandycat
      4:16 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      And not at…proofreading has never been a strength.



    • unbridled
      4:44 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      You either lost money or you aren’t into horse racing.



  8. jaws2
    4:17 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    I frankly was against the ruling at the time, but when I found out later that 2 riders/trainers/owners filed, I changed my mind. The 7 horse or rider obviously veered 4 lanes wide at the stretch and you just can’t do that. I thought the horse coming on the rail was stopped more than the eventual winner.
    If we would have had a catastrophe of epic proportions with that pile behind going down, the Derby would be changed forever. The fields would be limited to a dozen or so horses, and PETA would have lost it’s mind! Churchill Downs and KY would have suffered worse for certain.
    As for Baffert, he’s looking for face time as usual. Nothing new there.



  9. CoachCat
    4:17 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    Omg. Some of you will argue about anything. Here are the facts. Maximum Security broke out 3 lanes wide and impeded War of Will on the turn. War of Will team didn’t raise the objection. Country House team raised the objection not because he was impeded but because it was a strategic move where they saw a way to win. By the teams own admission, War of Will was already fading. So did he impede a horse. Was it the horse that filed the objection and ultimately won. That’s the reason Bob said what he said.



    • unbridled
      4:49 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

      You need to listen to trainer Casse’s most recent interview. War of Will was most definitely in contention. The rider pulled him up because he was obviously shaken from the mix up. The rider informed Casse of what happened after the race and Casse admits to not understanding the severity of what actually happened live. It wasn’t until he saw the replay that he acknowledged the 7 horse had to be DQ’d. The stewards can’t allow a horse to run like that. It’s unsafe and clearly against the rules. They had no choice but to DQ the 7. Get your horse under control or a better jockey if you want to win. Pretty simple really.



  10. dcforuk
    5:30 pm May 6, 2019 Permalink

    Must resist posting! Must resist. There are too many Marvel movies I need to get caught up on before seeing End Game to spend another two hours on this topic. Must resist. I know this posting temptation is very common to man. I must look for the way out of this temptation. Must resist. Must look!



  11. CahillsCrossingNT
    6:41 am May 8, 2019 Permalink

    John Velasquez on Invisible Ink objected against Jorge Chavez and Monarchos in 2001 but it was disallowed. Yes it’s rare but it isn’t without precedent.