Bayern's trainer puzzled by animosity over Classic
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A day after Bayern's controversial win at the Breeders' Cup Classic where he survived a stewards' inquiry, the three-year-old's trainer Bob Baffert said he had never seen "so much animosity" over a horse race.
A 6-1 shot, Bayern was eventually declared the winner of the $5 million showpiece event at Santa Anita Park after stewards had reviewed a messy start to the race where several horses had bumped into each other.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Bayern held off English-trained challenger Toast of New York to win North America's richest horse race by a nose, though both horses had played pivotal roles in the 'bumper-car' effect right out of the gate.
"The sad part about all of this is that it distracts from what he (Bayern) did yesterday," Hall of Fame trainer Baffert said on Sunday as he reflected on his 11th Breeders' Cup victory, and his first Classic win in 13 tries.
"It's not like he is a fluke. He can do it all and he's a fighter. You could tell he was not going to let that other horse (Toast of New York) by. You just have to have racing luck. You are not going to win without racing luck.
"I have never seen so much animosity over a horse race. It seems like people forgot how to watch a race."
Bayern swerved to his left from the seventh stall on Saturday as soon as the gates opened and collided with the 5-2 Classic favorite Shared Belief, who in turn bumped into Whitney winner Moreno to lose further ground.
Several strides later, Toast of New York ran into Moreno, a four-year-old gelding who went on to finish last in the 14-runner field. Continued...