Baffert is thrilled for the New York fans, whom he said have been so supportive, and "want to see a Triple Crown winner so badly."

"The mile and a half will be a piece of cake," Baffert said. "Victor said he's never sat on a horse like this. He's just an awesome individual, and he has so much stamina. He's learning to relax and realizes this can be fun. It's just amazing the way he gets better and better. I don't know anything about his chips or any other ailments, and I don't want to know. If I can keep him healthy and keep him at the same level, I'll feel stronger about this Triple Crown than the other two."

So, the horse Baffert calls "Hannibal Lector" will now try to take a bite out of the Big Apple. If he does, it could be the most historic bite of an apple since Snow White. How will New York City receive the returning hero and his big, bad, black horse? Only time will tell.

For now, Baffert's mother, Ellie, is just happy he was able to "shut up" the many critics. "I feel very content; that's all I can say," she said as she watched her son receive all the accolades following the race. "I can't understand all that negative writing I've been reading. Bob told me not to listen or pay attention to it, but it gets to me. That's why it was so wonderful to hear all those people cheering before the race. It made my heart sing."

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