SI: You once said winning the Kentucky Derby is better than sex.
Is that true for the Preakness and the Belmont?
Baffert: Only the Derby [laughs]. Only the Derby.
SI: Is there one quality that all champion thoroughbreds possess?
Baffert: They have a certain air. Some horses, when you raise
your hand, jump to the back of the stall. But the great ones
don't move. They're tough. And they know they're good.
SI: What was your alltime favorite horse to train?
Baffert: Silver Charm. A very noble horse. Tough. You could not
faze him. He was like Jerry Rice.
SI: You told GQ that you like a horse "with a big, good-looking
ass like J. Lo." What would you say about a horse built like
Baffert: I'd say that was an Arabian horse. They don't have any
butt at all.
SI: What are you looking for at a horse auction?
Baffert: I look at the animal as an athlete. The great ones just
stand out. Of course, every once in a while they'll sneak in an
[Allen] Iverson on you, a real small one that's outstanding.
SI: Ben Jones holds the trainers' record, with six Derby wins. Is
that a goal for you?
Baffert: No trainer sets out to win six Kentucky Derbys. But once
you've won it, you want to do it again. It's the only race you
get addicted to once you win it. I'd really like to win it more
than six times.
SI: Give us a horse that will surprise us on May 3.
Baffert: Indian Express [who's a long shot]. He almost won the
Santa Anita Derby, the first time he ever went around two turns.
That's very rare. The raw talent is there.
SI: That's one of your horses. Will you throw some money on him?
Baffert: I don't know. I've only bet on two Derby horses in my
life--Real Quiet and War Emblem--so I'm two for two. And last
year I gave the tip on War Emblem to P. Diddy in the paddock
before the race. Later that day he was showing off a stack of
bills that he won. But I never saw him again. I got P.
Diddly-squat out of it. --R.D.
For more from Bob Baffert, go to si.com/scorecard.
COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES (BAFFERT) Hooked on the Derby