Justify’s trainer Bob Baffert was in such a bustle to get to New York for tomorrow’s Belmont Stakes that he forgot the blind bag with his race-day attire.
No worries though, his wife Jill and their son Bode were demography the booze afterwards in the week. Jockey Mike Smith is aggravating to beforehand Justify to a Triple Crown win. With added than 2,800 career wins, Bob Baffert has helped to appropriate blood horse racing’s Triple Crown, acknowledgment to American Pharaoh in 2015. That win concluded a 37-year aridity for Triple Crown hopefuls.
But the action of kings consistently has alfresco armament so the Bafferts aren’t about to booty annihilation for granted. Afore awe-inspiring races, Jill Baffert said back affairs a new dress, she will delay until the aftermost minute to be abiding they are activity and aggregate is A-OK. Unlike abounding well-coiffed fans, hats are never a application for her — “ever,” she said. “I apperceive my parameters.” That’s a plus, because her husband’s one superstition is that putting a hat on a bed augurs bad luck.
A acquaintance who works in Chanel’s Rodeo Drive abundance appropriate to Jill Baffert a white Chanel dress with a gold belt for the Belmont Stakes. Having alone bought the apron seven canicule ago, Baffert said, “It’s superstitious, as my grandmother would accept said, ‘Don’t calculation your chickens afore they hatch.’ I appetite to accomplish sure, ‘OK, we’re absolutely activity and the horse is…’ afore I do that. I don’t appetite to allure fate. I apperceive it’s silly.”
Even with 90,000 bodies accepted at this year’s 150th active of the Belmont Stakes in New York on Saturday, Bob Baffert is identifiable with his mop of white beard and signature sunglasses. His good-luck agreeableness is a new chicken or red tie. The couple’s seventh-grade son has his own abstruse weapon — three-year-old fleet J. Crew socks with blooming shamrocks. “Bode is cutting the aforementioned socks that he wore for American Pharaoh. The heel of the beat now goes to the average of his bottom because he’s outgrown them,” Jill Baffert said. “But we thought, ‘We can amplitude these out for a bit more.’ They are affectionate of like abate socks.”
One added ambush is to not accomplish banquet anxiety in advance. “We don’t appetite to say we’ll be adulatory so we aloof accept bodies on standby. Bob will say, ‘If we win I’m activity to appear in with 18 people.’ Usually, they’ll board us,” she said.
But afterwards American Pharaoh’s postrace columnist appointment and a cruise “back to the barn to see the horse and adulation on him,” Team Baffert didn’t sit bottomward to banquet until afterwards 12:30 a.m. “Last time, by the time banquet came, bodies were actually comatose on the table,” Jill Baffert said. “This time there will be about 40 of us. We’re activity beyond the artery for pizza at Umberto’s. They’re absolutely nice. It’s affectionate of a racetrack affectionate of thing. Hopefully, it will be low-key.”
For those who accept alone acquainted into horse contest and accept never abounding one, she said, “You absence the beam of the day. There are people, alike men, who plan their apparel months in advance. You absence the adorableness of the horses and the racetrack. It’s absolutely blithe and there is a lot of activity at the racetrack.”
Baffert, who already called a horse Maybelline, had to dress bottomward for this year’s rain-drenched Preakness. Planning accordingly, she wore Acne Studios pants, a Saint Laurent blouse, J. Crew sleeveless sweater and a Burberry raincoat. Her Jimmy Choo flats were so saturated with mud that she had to bung them afterward.
For aftermost month’s Kentucky Derby, Jill Baffert aching her aboriginal plan to abrasion an Oscar de la Renta tulle and cottony dress and went with a blooming Oscar de la Renta dress and Gianvito Rossi heels instead. Afterwards the race, Bob told the columnist that he cringed inside, back I absolved out in the blooming dress. Unbeknownst to me, one of his accompany told him years ago that blooming was bad luck,” she said.
Although jockey Smith wore white and blooming silks at the Derby and the Preakness, he switches things up every fourth chase and he and Justify will clothing up in red and chicken silks.
As for whether the 52-year-old Smith is acceptable to go, she said, “I anticipate Mike is accessible to go. I anticipate everybody is accessible to get it on — win, lose or draw let’s get it over with.”
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