Baffert voted into Hall of Fame; Solis snubbed again

Bob Baffert, who’s won three Kentucky Derbies and a record five Santa Anita Derbies, is now a Hall of Famer. Baffert beat out Robert Wheeler. On a conference call Monday morning to announce the inductees to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame, Baffert credited his mom and dad and owner Mike Pegram for his success.

Jockey Alex Solis lost out in the voting to former jockey Eddie Maple. Randy Romero was also up for induction. Both Maple and Romero were fine riders, but I think Solis got robbed here. He’s won more races than either Maple or Romero did and accomplished more.

Tiznow, the only two-time winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, was voted in as contemporary male horse, beating out 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given and Best Pal, one of the best Cal-bred horses of all time who won the inaugural running of the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.

Silverbulletday, trained by Baffert and owned by Pegram, edged Open Mind and Sky Beauty to gain induction.

7 thoughts on “Baffert voted into Hall of Fame; Solis snubbed again

  1. Art,

    I have to respectfully disagree with you on Solis.

    I don’t believe that any of the riders up for nomination this year deserve to be in the Hall. Eddie Maple was a good rider, but not a Cordero.

    As for Solis, he still only has 1 win in Triple Crown races and until Kona Gold won the BC Sprint a few years back, he was 0-for-BC.

    Solis is a good rider, but let’s be honest – Scotty McClellan is the primary reason behind Solis winning those rider titles in SoCal in the past.

    The gold standard for top riders in SoCal are The Shoe, Pincay, Eddie D, McCarron, Stevens, Longdon and Sandy Hawley. Alex Solis does not measure up with any of those riders.


  2. Patrick,
    You make some excellent points, but I thought, of the three, Solis was the most qualfied. He has more wins than either of the other two. As you know, a jockey is only as good as his mounts, and Alex hasn’t exactly been riding the cream of the crop in his Derbies. You also mention all the great riders he rode against, and that to me is another reason he should be in. Eddie Maple and Randy Romero never had to ride day in and day out against guys like Shoe, Pincay, Eddie D., McCarron, Stevens, et al. and he’s won three Santa Anita riding titles, two Oak Tree titles, four at Hollywood Park, two at Del Mar. He also proved he could win a title on the East Coast, winning at Gulfstream Park in 1984. He’s won three Breeders’ Cup races overall now. Yes, it took him a while to win his first, but Todd Pletcher has gone zero for the Derby. How long did it take Frankel to get the monkey off his back? And he’s still without a Derby win. I don’t think you can say Bobby Frankel doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. But I like the points you bring up and I like the debate. We need more of these types of discussions, and I hope people who read this blog and are not expressing their opinions will see this and begin to blog their views. Differing views are what make sports so interesting and exciting, and we need more of them. Thanks again, Patrick!

  3. I see both points you guys bring up and would agree that Solis does belong in the Hall of the three that were nominated this year. Solis has always been a steady rider, quite capable of winning races but he has lacked truly a big name horse which I think has probably hurt him. True, Scotty McClellan is probably one of the hardest working agents in the bizz and that helped Solis with getting a sizeable win total each year but you still need to be able to get on the horse and win with it which Solis always has. The East Coast bias seems to be alive and well and I’m afraid it always will be.

  4. East Coast bias?? Noooooooooooo, there’s no East Coast bias, Ing … that’s just some conspiracy theory all us folks on the West Coast have contrived.

  5. Every one makes some good points but Romero was the real deal and much the best of the three!! I was born and raised in LA. and watched him for years,he rode against the great Pat Day on the southern circuit for years When he moved to New York to ride on the major circuit there check out his success as well as the breeders cup rides he had and would have won on GO FOR WAND had she not broke down……..These LA. jockeys are the real deal,there are many others not mentioned better than both Maple and Solis!! Ronald Ardoin, Larry Snyder and Elvis Perridon were unreal.. Even the best running back ever in the NFL came from the state of LA. Before i give you his name,let me tell you that he was a teammate of mine his freshman year in 1977….The late Joe Delaney!!

  6. Nate,
    You’re right … there are many jockeys perhaps worthy of the Hall of Fame who have not or will not be so honored. I’m sure Solis will eventually get in. Just like there are some worthy baseball players, i.e. Maury Wills is a prime example, who are not in the MLB Hall of Fame, there are probably just as many worthy horsemen who have been denied entrance thus far.

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