ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert got his 3,000th career victory when Thousand Words won the $100,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Saturday.
Thousand Words won by three-quarters of a length in the Grade 3 race named for Baffert’s late client. The colt ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.64 at Santa Anita to earn 10 points on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard that determines the 20-horse field for the race in May.
Baffert also won the Lewis Stakes for a record eighth time.
“I had a feeling it was going to happen in this race,” he said about his 3,000th victory. “The first 50 wins were probably the hardest, 100 were life-changers. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I’ve been able to last in this business and do so well after coming from the quarterhorse business.”
Dale Baird holds the career wins record by a trainer with 9,445.
Thousand Words paid $3.20, $2.60 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in the field of six 2-year-olds. He was purchased for $1 million at the 2018 Keeneland September yearling sale and is unbeaten in three starts.
“He ran very well,” winning jockey Flavien Prat said. “He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there. He took the dirt (in his face) well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.”
Royal Act paid $8.60 and $4.40 at 18-1 odds in his first start on dirt. He earned four Kentucky Derby qualifying points. High Velocity, also trained by Baffert, returned $2.40 to show. He received two Derby points.
The victory, worth $60,000, increased Thousand Words’ career earnings to $211,000.