What do you remember about Dr. Fager as a mount?
BB: One of the fastest horses alive. One of the fastest horses on the
track. He could punch a hole in the wind.
WP: He was a big horse, wasnt he?
WP: Was he wide?
BB: Just big all over. He was not a massive horse. Just a big horse. He
was tall. Buckpasser was a very narrow horse as a two-year-old. Then he
matured as a three-year-old.
BB: Very powerful. Up to a mile, I dont think there was a horse
that could beat him. At that time anyway. Even though we stretched him
out and he won races at a mile and a quarter, his forte was under a mile,
especially those one turn miles. Fageddaboutit. (Laughs) He was the type
of horse that was big and strong and you could just sit back against him
and streamline yourself into the wind. One time at Rockingham Park, In
Reality came alongside him on the inside and I had a good hold on Dr.
Fager. Dr. Fager put his ears back and lunged at In Reality to savage
him like a dog. I pulled him off the other horse into the air. Thats
how competitive he was. He didnt want to see any horse in front
of him. He set track records at almost every track he went. He was a real
free-running horse. I rated him a few times, but he resented it and he
WP: What else?
BB: The day he set the world record at Arlington Park, he won by ten.
I was easing him up at the quarter pole. I looked back and no one was
coming. If I knew he was setting the world record, all I had to do was
chirp to him and he wouldve lowered the record even more. His speed
was deceiving because he had such a long, smooth stride that he ate up
so much ground. The last time he ran, he carried 139 pounds and he ran
the 7 furlongs in 1:20. I knew it was his last race, so I didnt
want to abuse him. No one was coming so I relaxed on him. I had the brakes
on from the quarter pole.
WP: Was he a sound horse?
BB: Pretty much. He missed the Triple Crown for some reason.
WP: Did Dr. Fager savage other horses in the barn,
or just in the races?
BB: Just in the races.
WP: What about Dr. Fager versus Damascus?
BB: Dr. Fager could beat Damascus even in his sleep. The only way Damascus
ever beat Dr. Fager was if a rabbit was in the race. Dr. Fager didnt
want to see any horse in front of him.
WP: You won the Champion Grass Horse of the Year
BB: Yes. At Atlantic City. He beat the champion, Fort Marcy.
WP: How did he handle the turf?
BB: Not too good. He kept slipping and sliding. Wasnt leveling off,
getting ahold of it. Like he was on roller skates. I had to keep picking
him up. But he won. He won four championships that year: the Sprint Champion,
Grass Champion, Handicap Champion and Horse of the Year.
WP: Anything else you want to say about Dr. Fager?
BB: He was one of my favorite horses to ride.
WP: Thank you.
If you have any questions youd like answered about Dr. Fager, or
any other horse Mr. Baeza used to ride, send an e-mail to:
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