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Baffert Dirt Road to the Derby Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Blood-Horse; 1st edition (November 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581500254
  • ASIN: B007PM4V6K
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,203,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

BAFFERT'S NEXT WINNER - Trainer's autobiography is full of laughs and lessons There were many times throughout "Dirt Road to the Derby" that I laughed out loud and had to muffle my enthusiasm, lest the person who saw me reading it in my car and in other public places thought I was a candidate for the insane asylum. Rarely, if ever, has a book so tickled my funny bone.

"Dirt Road to the Derby" is a delightful cross between a (Johnny) Carson monologue and a more traditional racing autobiography. While the laughs are plentiful, there is also much to learn from Baffert's incredible success.The importance of a strong family, his own desire for success and perseverance in achieving his goals, an enduring and supporting friendship with Mike Pegram, owner of Real Quiet and super filly Silverbulletday, and a quick wit and availability to the press all helped build Baffert into the national sports celebrity he is today. -- The Trentonian, October 21,1999

The irreverent silver-haired Baffert traces his colorful and eventful rise from the Quarter Horse tracks of his native southwest to the winner's circles at Churchill Downs and Dubai. "Baffert" is lively, refreshing and informative: a thoroughly good read. We recommend it. -- Daily Racing Form, October 22, 1999

What separates this from the majority of sports autobiographies is Baffert's willingness to acknowledge the bumps he created himself in the road to success. He writes about his experiences with drugs in high school. He is candid about an early mistake in his training career when he allowed a man he ``barely knew'' to give one of his horses some ``stuff'' to help win the race. The horse didn't, but Baffert was caught and suspended for a year in California. When Baffert does criticize others, he has credence because he has built a glass house around himself.

This book comes alive when Baffert is doing what he does best aside from training: telling stories. There has been a steady stream of Runyonesque characters in his career, and he seems to remember them all.

The book doesn't give away any of Baffert's trade secrets, but it offers plenty of insight into the racing game to make it revealing for most fans. For those who don't follow the sport but enjoy reading about successful people, there is worthy material as well. -- Kenny Rice, The Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 5, 1999

From the Inside Flap

Winning the Kentucky Derby two years in a row has made Bob Baffert the most visible trainer in America. His wit and silver-haired good looks have made him the most popular. Luck and charm have played a role in Baffert's meteoric rise to the top. But he also is acknowledged as a consummate horseman.

In his candid and often hilarious autobiography, "Dirt Road to the Derby", Baffert recounts growing up in a tiny Arizona border town, where he peddled eggs after school and started riding his families Quarter Horses. His early exploits as a jockey provide a fascinating glimpse of racing at the "bush tracks" of the Southwest, complete with shoot-outs and rigged races. After college and a fitful start as a Quarter Horse trainer, Baffert finally hits the big time in that sport.

But his real adventures begin when he strikes up a friendship with Mike Pegram, who bankrolled his entry into Thoroughbred racing. After losing the 1996 Kentucky Derby by a whisker, Baffert vows to return. The very next year, he achieves celebrity when he wins the Run for the Roses with the modestly bred Silver Charm. In 1998, he does it again with Real Quiet, who cost him just $17,000.

The Charm and a cast of other good horses take Baffert to the peak of his profession. He is in demand as a trainer by the richest and most influential people in racing. "Although I always wanted to be the best, I never dreamed of getting to where I am now," he writes. "I was just some kid from Arizona who couldn't even put a halter on a horse. To dream of attaining what I have would be like someone dreaming of becoming president."

Despite his success, which includes winning two Eclipse Awards as outstanding trainer, Baffert retains his sense of humor and fun-loving ways. "Dirt Road to the Derby" will make you laugh out loud. Hold on to your hat and enjoy the ride.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Leroy Albrecht on April 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Just finished Baffert: Dirt Road to the Derby. If you like Bob Baffert you will enjoy this book. If you are in love with thoroughbred racing you will enjoy this book. Steve Haskin writes awesome articles for The Blood-Horse. I think he is the best turf writer alive today. I would never have guessed that he had anything to do with this book. There isn't any Steve Haskin in this book and that may be good because that means this book is Bob Baffert. Also it isn't written like most biographies I have read. It rambles back and forth in Bob's life with interesting recollections that may not be interesting to a person not into thoroughbred horse racing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miss Fiona Tomlin on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The exploits of Bob Baffert will leave any genuine racing fan laughing. I'm an Australian horse racing fan and I loved this book! Didn't stop giggling the entire way through and couldn't help but read aloud passage after passage to my partner (much to his chagrin). This condensed version of Bob Baffert's life up to (and past) the Derby isn't earth-shattering, content-wise, but it is very entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By F. Brown on January 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Baffert as the self described "ordinary person" with a talent for self effacement becomes a repeating theme in this book. "Whatever Bob accomplished in the end he was just a horse trainer". To see what Baffert accomplished there is a list of Baffert stakes winners in the back of the book going back to 1984 that blow you away. I'm hard to impress but was by this endless list of winners. This astounding success over many years (and one could argue an unmatched record) implies someone particularly good in his field. Or, is he? Dissapointingly, there is very little in "Dirt Road" beyond a smidgeon as to how Baffert actually trains, feeds, shoes, vets, exercises and conducts his horses. There is so little of this in the book you wonder if the fellow ever actually goes to the barn.

Instead this story seems more the boon on hobbknobbing with the wealthy and selling horseracing to susceptible marks, useful talents to be sure, but what does this have to do with training horses? I was unable to escape certain sections of the book in forming opinions on Baffert--his father always under the influence of alcohol, a trait seemingly passed on to the children; social skills evolved as a boy selling door to door his father's eggs, but, never blinking an eye that the money came from chickens imprisoned in tiny cages in the Baffert backyard. Though Baffert professes attachment to a horse or two here or there, treating animals as livestock backgrounds this whole saga. Animals as a means to an end, ignorning basic animal needs while using those animals for their own self-promotion and profit is difficult to ignore in the story of Bob Baffert. We may take our hats off to Baffert's success but his book fails to answer the question whether the success is horse training or salesmanship.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lenny Griffiths on January 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was enjoyable to read. I liked learning about the ordinarily extraordinary life and times of Bob Baffert. It's a book full of experiences and some tips to learn from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David L. Brown on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Thank goodness the author didn't fill this book with a bunch of useless data...there's plenty of that in most other books on thoroughbred horse racing. My favorite parts were when Mr. Baffert opens up and tells the stories of his misadventures growing up and the adventures of today. Another reviewer complained that the author used the "I" too much, but considering that "BAFFERT" is in the largest type on the dust jacket, I would expect the book to be about him. Please write another book, and fill it with some more humerous stories. I really enjoyed the few you shared with us in this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate on November 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Bob Baffert is one of the greatest trainers out there today! He takes care of his horses & is SO funny! He's my favorite trainer & if it hadn't been for him & Silver Charm I might not have ever gotten to to racing like I am now! I would love to be a Jockey & ride for Mr. Baffert one day or even be one of his rival trainers! Who knows! ^_~
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Format: Hardcover
The BAFFERT book is an easy read and actually gives you a bit of a feel for the man, the horse racing industry (mostly thoroughbred), and its players thru 1999.

It sometimes seems the book is meant to be cathartic, as Bob fairly candidly relates a number of mistakes (as well as good decisions) he has made with horses and clients over the years; still the book helps you to appreciate the little boy personae so evident in the successful man who's central to nearly every major horse racing event today.

Although the book was published in 1999, a number of the people and horse bloodlines are still relevant as I write this review in April 2006.
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