Bob Baffert

The Gold Standard: How the movies -- past and present -- changed our lives

As one of the giant trainers of horse racing, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, and his horses have earned more than $112 million. And who does Baffert cite as an inspiration in his phenomenal career in racing? A jockey? Fellow trainer? Nope. Charlton Heston.

Growing up in Arizona, Baffert vividly recalls seeing “Ben-Hur” at age 6 and can still see the iconic chariot races play in his head over and over. But it was also Heston’s humane treatment of the horses that made a subliminal impression.

“I remember how he got those horses and then how he took care of them,” Baffert says. “I remember it so well, seeing it with my parents.”

There have been other memorable horse-racing films, of course, and Baffert has a personal connection to at least one of them: “Seabiscuit” was partly filmed at Southern California’s Santa Anita race track, and Baffert got to know director Gary Ross as well as become friends with jockey Gary Stevens, who played George Woolf.

Although he won’t be the first to run out and catch a musical — either onscreen or onstage — “The Sound of Music” holds fond memories for him. “It’s the only musical I’ve ever liked, the only one I could watch,” he says. “As a kid, I had a crush on Julie Andrews. I think everyone did.”

See top story and other related content

More Film

  • Trevor Jackson and Jason Mitchell in

    Film News Roundup: Sony Opening Crime Thriller 'Superfly' Two Days Earlier

    As one of the giant trainers of horse racing, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, and his horses have earned more than $112 million. And who does Baffert cite as an inspiration in his phenomenal career in racing? A jockey? Fellow trainer? Nope. Charlton Heston. Growing up in Arizona, Baffert vividly recalls seeing […]

  • The Dead and the Others Review

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Dead and the Others'

    As one of the giant trainers of horse racing, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, and his horses have earned more than $112 million. And who does Baffert cite as an inspiration in his phenomenal career in racing? A jockey? Fellow trainer? Nope. Charlton Heston. Growing up in Arizona, Baffert vividly recalls seeing […]

  • Transilvania Film Fest Raises Curtain on

    Transilvania Film Festival Raises Curtain on 17th Edition

    As one of the giant trainers of horse racing, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, and his horses have earned more than $112 million. And who does Baffert cite as an inspiration in his phenomenal career in racing? A jockey? Fellow trainer? Nope. Charlton Heston. Growing up in Arizona, Baffert vividly recalls seeing […]

  • 'The Division' Director on Breaking the

    'The Division' Director David Leitch on Breaking the Video Game Movie Curse

    As one of the giant trainers of horse racing, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, and his horses have earned more than $112 million. And who does Baffert cite as an inspiration in his phenomenal career in racing? A jockey? Fellow trainer? Nope. Charlton Heston. Growing up in Arizona, Baffert vividly recalls seeing […]

  • moviepass card

    MoviePass Parent's Stock Slides to Another Record Low

    As one of the giant trainers of horse racing, Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times, and his horses have earned more than $112 million. And who does Baffert cite as an inspiration in his phenomenal career in racing? A jockey? Fellow trainer? Nope. Charlton Heston. Growing up in Arizona, Baffert vividly recalls seeing […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content