Bob Baffert

Bob Baffert

Anne M. Eberhardt

Baffert, Rosario Take Hollywood Meet Titles

Hall of Fame conditioner tops standings for first time; jockey gets third in a row.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert won his first spring/summer meet title at Hollywood Park with 36 wins at the just-concluded stand.

On the jockey side, Joel Rosario clinched a third straight meet title with 63 wins, the first three-peat since Chris McCarron won five in a row from 1980-84.

Rosario, a 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic, also led the jockey race with 11 stakes wins. In addition to his spring/summer meet supremacy, Rosario won the last two autumn meets for five straight Hollywood Park meets, the longest streak since McCarron won nine in a row during that 1980-84 period.

Baffert, the 58-year-old Arizona native, added the only championship missing on the major Southern California circuit.

The trainer has led the other four stops on the circuit multiple times: Santa Anita nine times, Del Mar seven, Oak Tree five, and Hollywood Park autumn twice.

Baffert just missed at last summer's Hollywood meet with 27 wins, one less than winner Doug O’Neill, who started nearly twice as many horses.

Mike Mitchell finished a strong second at the current meet with 28 wins from 64 starters, a 44% winning clip.

Baffert also led the trainer standings with eight stakes wins.

La Canada Stables, owned by Ron Valenta, was the runaway meet leader in owner wins with 16. La Canada, which has its horses with trainer Jack Carava, also has 17 seconds and 12 thirds from 64 starters.

Thoroughbred racing will resume at Hollywood Park for the autumn meet the week following the Breeders’ Cup, which will be run at Churchill Downs Nov. 4-5. The stand will continue through Dec. 18.