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The Western Thoroughbred History – Baffle

Baffle was a versatile racehorse who proved his speed and longevity on the track. He would go on to sire stakes winners of three breeds. His Appaloosa offspring won champion titles on the track and in the arena. His decedents are still racing and showing today.

Baffle was foaled in Kentucky on April 28th, 1965. He was bred by Lucian McDowell. His sire, Li’l Fella, was a multiple stakes winner by the French stallion Nirgal. His dam, Winding Trail, produced seven winners including Watkins Joy, Crystal Trail, Rural Retreat, Tide Mill, Over Roger and Miss Big Shot. Baffle’s pedigree also included Eight Thirty, Fairway and Gallant Fox. He traced back to Luke McLuke, High Time and Teddy. Baffle was a dark bay with a big white blaze. His conformation made him a very versatile racehorse. He had a large shoulder and hip which is typical of sprinters, but he was balanced and able to maintain his speed over long distances too.   

Photo of Baffle at stud via All Breed Database

In 1967, Baffle won the Howard Stakes and the Del Mar Futurity Stakes. As a three-year-old, he equaled the track record at Santa Anita Park for 6 furlongs and set a new track record at Bay Meadows for 1 1/16 miles. Between 1968 and 1969, Baffle won the Contra Costa Handicap, La Jolla Mile Handicap, San Francisco Handicap, Redwood Handicap, Albany Handicap, Hollywood Express Handicap and Lakes and Flowers Handicap. At the age of five, he set a new course record at Santa Anita Park for 6 ½ furlongs. He also added the Sierra Madre Handicap, California Stakes and Inglewood Handicap to his long list of stakes wins. In total, Baffle made 46 starts, won 18 races and earned $359,895 on the track, which is the equivalent of about $2.6 million today.

Stallion advertisement for Baffle from the December 1974 issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal

Baffle stood at Hallmark Farms in Norman, Oklahoma and later in Texas. He would sire stakes winners of three breeds – Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and Appaloosas. His first foal crop arrived in 1972 and included stakes-winner Baffie and track record-setter Detective Flint, which were both Thoroughbreds. His most successful Thoroughbred starter was Briar Rose, a filly out of Petite Rose, by Double Jay. In 1979, Briar Rose won the Oregon Derby, Betsy Ross Handicap, Mike Donohoe Memorial Stakes and Luella G. Handicap. In total, Briar Rose won 11 races and earned $98,304 on the track. Other successful Thoroughbred starters by Baffle include Bafflin Lil, Baffle You, Senator Baffler, Maggie Mar and Careless Moment. Careless Moment would later produce graded stakes winners Aggressive Bid and Moment of Hope.

Photo via All Breed Database of Baffles Benefit, an ApHC National Champion by Baffle

Baffle’s most successful Quarter Horse starter was Baffles Three Wars, a colt out of Miss Three Wars, by Three Chicks. Baffles Three Wars won the Garfield Downs Spring Futurity and set a new track record at Garfield Downs for 350 yards in 0:17.840 seconds. Baffles John, a Quarter Horse colt by Baffle and out of Jagit, by Jaguar, set a new track record at Brazos Valley for 440 yards in 0:22.740 seconds. Other successful Quarter Horse starters by Baffle include Baffled Chick and Lil But Loud. In eleven foal crops, Baffle sired 183 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse foals. They included 131 starters, 84 winners, 13 ROM earners, 8 stakes winners, and earners of $1,777,177.

Stallion advertisement for Prince Baffle from the January 1982 issue of the Appaloosa News

Baffle was also a successful sire of Appaloosa racehorses and performance horses. In 1980, his daughter Baffled Princess set a new track record for 5 furlongs at Imperial Park in California. Baffles Benefit and Hemies Brother, two geldings by Baffle and out of mares by Prince Plaudit, were both ApHC National Champions in several performance and speed events. Baffle clearly crossed well on daughters of Prince Plaudit as his son Prince Baffle who was out of Princes Bluff Me, another daughter of Prince Plaudit, was a multiple time Grand Champion stallion and sire of successful halter and show horses. Baffle Made, a stallion by Baffle and out of the ApHC Hall of Fame mare Ipana Made, sired several successful Appaloosas including Baffles Lil Wolf, Bigger N Better and Eyeofthetiger.

Baffle died in 1982.

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