Trainer Bob Baffert tosses 1st pitch at Diamondbacks-Dodgers game

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

LOS ANGELES -- Bob Baffert took a victory lap at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night, tossing out the ceremonial first pitch in celebration of American Pharoah's Triple Crown victory.

The white-haired trainer wore a No. 12Los Angeles Dodgers jersey with his name on the back and brought his 10-year-old son, Bode, to the mound. Baffert's throw to the plate was high and away, but catcher A.J. Ellis snagged it. American Pharoah became the 12th horse to win the Triple Crown on Saturday in New York.

"I guess he'd be like [Yasiel] Puig," Baffert joked. "When he gets out there, he dominates."

It was Baffert's first ceremonial first pitch since 2002, when War Emblem won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but failed in his bid to sweep the Triple Crown with a loss in the Belmont Stakes.

"I'm at an age where you get a pass," the 62-year-old trainer said about his throwing abilities.

Baffert was greeted by ace Clayton Kershaw and manager Don Mattingly before the game against his home state Arizona Diamondbacks. He grew up in the border city of Nogales, Arizona.

Baffert said he's a Dodger fan because "when I grew up, there was no Diamondbacks."

After his on-field duties, Baffert, wife Jill, Bode and a friend retired to the Dugout Club to eat Dodger Dogs slathered in ketchup and mustard.

He is based at nearby Santa Anita racetrack, where American Pharoah is scheduled to return June 18.

Baffert is heading to Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday to spend a few days with his history-making colt. He will attend a ceremony at Churchill Downs on Saturday night at which he, owner Ahmed Zayat and jockey Victor Espinoza will receive their Kentucky Derby trophies, and Pharoah will be paraded on the track.