Story by Lou DeFichy
Chicago, IL---While my ex-favorite Bill Hartack wages his ceaseless war against the world, and Shoemaker suffers from thinking he's the greatest, a quiet-mannered jockey has passed them both and is well on his way to becoming one of the most superlative jockeys who ever slung a leg over a racehorse.
The racing bug bit me when I chanced to see Sherluck win the Belmont Stakes on TV. During the ceremonies after the race, I couldn't figure out how an Oriental jockey spoke with a Spanish accent. This was my first encounter with Braulio Baeza. Surprisingly, I didn't give Baeza a second thought. Little did I suspect that the unknown Panamanian, joyously throwing carnations to the multitudes, would blossom into the fantastic success he is today. I caught my first face-to-face glimpse of the great sphinx in '66. Baeza is a commanding figure. While most jockeys slouch on the way to the post, Baeza sits so straight you'd think he were in a gaited class at Madison Square Garden. And then to watch Baeza ride during a race is another experience. He is pure poetry in motion. If Arcaro was the one who invented the classic seat, Baeza has refined it to its utmost.
Wm. Joseph Grant III
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