do you remember about Arts and Letters as a mount?
BB: He was a nice horse.
WP: Did he have any vices?
BB: Yeah, sure. He became alcoholic. Used to beat up his wife. (Giggles)
WP: Yeah right.
BB: I got the mount when Shoemaker got hurt.
WP: How did Shoemaker get hurt that time?
BB: I think that was when he broke his pelvis getting on a horse in the
paddock. I think that was it. Shoemaker won the Bluegrass with Arts and
Letters and then I got him for the Derby.
WP: How did you ride him in the Derby?
BB: I came off the pace with him.
WP: Did you think Majestic Prince was a better horse
at that time?
BB: For that race he was. Then Arts and Letters started getting better.
He started to turn around after that race.
WP: Did you decide to ride him differently in the
BB: No, not really. The trainer (Elliott Burch) never gave me too many
instructions. He told me that I was the one riding the horses. I shouldve
won that Preakness. Majestic Prince fouled me twice. It took the stewards
a very long time to decide. They never take horses down in the Preakness.
WP: How did Majestic Prince foul you twice?
BB: He cut me off coming out of the gate and then again turning for home.
WP: You never claimed foul too often.
BB: No. Most of the time when I claimed foul, they took numbers down.
WP: So what did you think about the two horses after
BB: I thought I was on the best horse. I thought I shouldve beaten
him that day. I knew I was going to beat him. I didnt ride Arts
and Letters in his next start. Cruguet won with him in the Metropolitan
Mile. I think I was on Vitriolic. I was riding Vitriolic for Mr. Phipps.
WP: So you got the mount back in the Belmont?
BB: Yes. That was the only reason Cruguet rode him. Besides, the horse
carried 110 pounds (laughs).
WP: So how did you decide to go to the lead with
Arts and Letters?
BB: I didnt. He was coming off a mile race. I just stayed close
up and I wanted to stay ahead of Majestic Prince. The pace was very slow,
so I stayed close to it.
WP: Once you got to the lead, you looked back. What
were you looking for?
BB: I was looking for him.
WP: What exactly were you looking for?
BB: I was waiting for him to come to me.
WP: Was he coming?
BB: Yes. When he started coming to me before the eighth pole, I stepped
on the gas. Byyyyeeeeee!
WP: Then you knew you had it won?
BB: He was driving harder than me and not gaining anything--before I put
my horse in overdrive.
WP: Was Arts and Letters a sound horse?
BB: Very sound.
WP: What else can you tell me about him?
BB: He became a champ. He won everything in site.
WP: Like what?
BB: The Gold Cup. The Woodward. The Travers. He became Champion Horse
of the Year.
WP: Thank you.
If you have any questions youd like answered about Arts and Letters,
or any other horse Mr. Baeza used to ride, send an e-mail to:
*WP stands for Web