Baffert’s Triumphant Reunion with Taiba Sets the Stage for Haskell Stakes Success

Trainer Bob Baffert Reunites with Taiba, Sets Sights on Haskell Stakes

Trainer Bob Baffert, known for his success in the world of horse racing, had an emotional reunion with one of his star horses, Taiba, this week. After the successful reunion, Baffert made the decision to enter Taiba in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park next Saturday.

Baffert expressed his happiness and satisfaction with Taiba’s condition, stating, “I hadn’t seen him in a long time. I’m happy with the way he looks. I worked Taiba today and he worked really well. He came out of it well. He’s happy. I’m happy with him.”

Taiba’s latest workout at Santa Anita Park showcased his talent and potential. He completed five furlongs in an impressive 59.40 seconds, marking him as the second-fastest among 56 contenders. Prior to reuniting with Baffert, Taiba had been under the guidance of stand-in trainer Tim Yakteen, who had prepared him with three consecutive impressive workouts.

It is noteworthy that Baffert’s return to Santa Anita Barn No. 1 on July 3 was a significant moment, as he had just completed a 90-day suspension due to a betamethasone overage found in Medina Spirit. This incident had led to Medina Spirit’s disqualification from the 2021 Kentucky Derby, ultimately impacting Baffert’s record.

Taiba, the offspring of Gun Runner, will be competing in his first race since the Kentucky Derby on May 7. Despite finishing 12th in that race, Taiba had showcased his potential by winning the Santa Anita Derby and his impressive debut win prior to that. Baffert expressed his confidence in Taiba, stating, “He’s a special horse. He showed what he could do in the Santa Anita Derby off just one race.”

Following the challenging experience at the Derby, Taiba was given a break in May and returned to training in June. Yakteen’s decision paid off as Taiba delivered a remarkable three-furlong work in 36.80 seconds, making him the fastest among 19 contenders at that distance.

In preparation for the upcoming Haskell Stakes, Taiba will be traveling to New Jersey under the ownership of Saudi businessman Amr Zedan, who had previously owned Medina Spirit. This will mark Zedan’s first race at Monmouth Park.

For Baffert, the Haskell Stakes holds significant importance, as it has been a race he frequently targets for his talented 3-year-olds. In fact, he has emerged victorious in the race nine times, with notable horses like Point Given, American Pharoah, and Authentic. Baffert highlighted the significance of the Haskell Stakes in his career, stating, “The Haskell is a very important race. It’s always been an important race. As a matter of fact, when you’re thinking of your Kentucky Derby horse, you’re always thinking, ‘OK, I need a Derby horse and who’s going to be my Haskell horse?’ That’s why we’ve been lucky in this race. I always send the best ones. You’re getting the best one.”

To ensure a successful performance, Baffert has enlisted the expertise of Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith to ride Taiba in the Haskell Stakes. Smith has a stellar track record, having previously won the Haskell Stakes with Authentic, Coronado’s Quest, and Holy Bull. Additionally, he has already partnered with Taiba in both the Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby.

The official lineup for the Haskell Stakes will be announced on Wednesday. Esteemed contenders like Cyberknife, Jack Christopher, and White Abarrio, all Grade 1 winners, are expected to compete against Taiba, creating an exhilarating showdown at Monmouth Park.


Trainer Bob Baffert’s reunion with Taiba has paved the way for an exciting entry in the Grade 1 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park. With Taiba’s impressive workouts and Baffert’s determination, they aim to secure victory in a highly anticipated race. The Haskell Stakes holds special significance in Baffert’s career, and he is confident that Taiba, under the skillful guidance of jockey Mike Smith, will deliver an extraordinary performance. Fans and enthusiasts alike eagerly await the race, which promises to be a thrilling spectacle.


1. Who is Trainer Bob Baffert?

Trainer Bob Baffert is a renowned figure in horse racing known for his expertise and success in training top-class racehorses. He has achieved multiple victories in prestigious races, including multiple Kentucky Derby wins and a Triple Crown victory with American Pharoah.

2. What is the Haskell Stakes?

The Haskell Stakes is a Grade 1 race held annually at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. It attracts some of the best 3-year-old horses in the country, competing for a substantial purse and prestige. The race has a rich history and is considered a significant event in the horse racing calendar.

3. Who is Taiba?

Taiba is a talented colt racing under the guidance of trainer Bob Baffert. He gained recognition by winning the Santa Anita Derby and has showcased tremendous potential despite his challenging experience in the Kentucky Derby.

4. Who is Mike Smith?

Mike Smith is a highly accomplished jockey and a Hall of Fame inductee. He has an impressive record in horse racing, including numerous prestigious victories in races such as the Kentucky Derby, Breeders’ Cup, and the Haskell Stakes.

5. What is the significance of the Haskell Stakes for Bob Baffert?

The Haskell Stakes is a race that holds special importance for Bob Baffert. It has been a target for Baffert’s top 3-year-old horses, and he has achieved remarkable success in the race over the years. Baffert sees the Haskell Stakes as an essential stepping stone for his horses on the path to the Kentucky Derby, often considering his Haskell horse alongside his Derby contender.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, cons the all tetur adiscing elit