• The week’s significant milestones
300 million Bob Baffert
USA: While Bob Baffert has faced some significant reversals of fortune in recent weeks, he did enough on Saturday [June 5] at Santa Anita to become the third trainer in US history to pass the $300 million mark in North American career prize-money earnings.
Primary contributory factor over the weekend was Improbable’s Hollywood Gold Cup success; according to Equibase figures, Baffert had trained 3,026 winners (as at Sunday night).
The two trainers above Baffert on the all-time money list are Todd Pletcher ($390m) and Steve Asmussen ($331m).
36 Aidan O’Brien
GB: With her 1,000 Guineas victory at Newmarket on Sunday [June 7], Love recorded Aidan O’Brien’s 36th victory in a British Classic. The Ballydoyle’s maestro’s race-by-race record is as follows: 2,000 Guineas (ten wins), 1,000 Guineas (six), Oaks (seven), Derby (seven), St Leger (six).
O’Brien, who has won 42 Classics at home in Ireland, is now only four short of the record of 40 Classic wins achieved by John Scott, the 19th century ‘Wizard of the North’. He has also won 42 Classics at home in Ireland.
3.68m Royal Ascot
GB: Prize-money for next week’s behind-closed-doors Royal Ascot meeting has been cut by more than half, with a total of £3.68m spread across the five-day meeting. Before coronavirus, total prize-money was to have been £8.095m; six new races have been added to the mix to help satisfy inflated demand for places in the starting gate. All eight G1s will be worth £250,000.
USA: Arrogate, who died on June 2 at the age of seven, was the highest prize-money earner in US racing history with career earnings of just over $17.2 million – hardly surprising given the Juddmonte colt’s astonishing four-race spree for Bob Baffert in the Travers Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Pegasus World Cup and Dubai World Cup.
Given currency fluctuations, comparing earnings across national national boundaries is a horribly complicated exercise but there is general agreement that he was the all-time leader at the time of his retirement. He has, though, since been superseded by the Australia legend Winx.
22 Triple Crown
USA: A total of 22 new names were added to the Triple Crown races at last week’s $3,000 second entry stage. Chief among them were Tampa Bay Derby winner King Guillermo, leading three-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver and Coolmore’s Cezanne, the $3.65m purchase who made a winning debut on Saturday at Santa Anita for Bob Baffert.
15.2 Imperial Hint
USA: Imperial Hint, at 15.2hh the ‘Little Rocket’ of US sprinting, was retired last week with career earnings of $2.2m. The seven-year-old completed the G1 double of the Vanderbilt and Vosburgh in New York in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019, breaking the track record for 6f at Saratoga in the 2019 edition of the former contest when he stopped the clock at 1m07.92. He was placed behind Roy H in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in both 2017 and 2018.