ESPN Horse Racing

Baffert making rounds of celebrity circuit
By Beth Harris
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Bob Baffert doesn't spend all his time in the barn with War Emblem.

The white-haired trainer and fiancee Jill Moss headed into Manhattan on Thursday to meet with designer Ralph Lauren.

Baffert casually mentioned "Today'' show co-host Katie Couric is interested in War Emblem's pursuit of the Triple Crown, too.

He plans to visit New York Yankees owner and thoroughbred enthusiast George Steinbrenner at Friday's game in the Bronx.

Baffert's celebrity whirl included an appearance Thursday on Don Imus' WFAN talk radio show. Rival D. Wayne Lukas, who trains Proud Citizen, will be a guest Friday.

"We're siding with Baffert in all this, if nothing else to annoy everybody,'' Imus said.

Imus will wager $20,000 on Saturday's Belmont Stakes to benefit the New Mexico ranch he runs for children with cancer.

He might want to be a little nicer to Lukas. Imus was given $10,000 to bet on the Kentucky Derby. His brother, Fred, made the wager, betting five horses across the board. Lukas' second-place Proud Citizen was the only one to cash, earning Imus $6,300.

Last year, Imus and WFAN sports host Mike Francesa won $72,000 with Preakness and Belmont wagers on Point Given, trained by Baffert.