“Have it your way.”
That's apparently what Burger King officials told Bob Baffert after he insisted equine charities benefit from money the fast-food chain would pay to have their mascot stand behind him at the NBC Sports-televised Belmont Stakes on Saturday.
Jill Baffert, the Hall of Fame trainer's wife, said it was $200,000, according to Time magazine online, which did a post-Belmont Stakes interview with the couple. That's the amount the Bafferts said in a post-race press conference they were dividing up equally among four equine-related charities after American Pharoah became the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to win the Triple Crown.
“We are giving $50,000 to Thoroughbred Aftercare (Alliance), CARMA of California, Old Friends $50,000 and $50,000 for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys in memory of Bobby Adair, one of the greatest jockeys ever,” Bob Baffert said.
“I want to share this, I want to make sure that those horses that we really love, that we have to take care of them and I just want to give back,” he continued. “So win, lose or draw, I was going to do it and, you know, Jill and I, we just really enjoy this game and I'm enjoying this game moreso than I ever have because, you know, I can just tell it's brought so much joy, just with everything.”
Sports Illustrated reported that Baffert turned down $150,000 from Burger King to have the mascot stand behind him at the Preakness. Industry experts said Burger King got $136,000 worth of exposure with its “royal” mascot, who had been banished to the scrap pile of bad marketing ideas four years ago.
Burger King laid out a bigger dollar amount, widely reported to be at least $1-million, to have its mascot accompany Floyd Mayweather to the ring in his May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao.
No matter where the money came from, the Bafferts made a whopper of a gift to the four charities.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2018 Paulick Report.