TUCSON — The well-dressed horse trainer with the signature white hair and dark sunglasses who was the darling of the sports media this spring got his start in the racing industry in the most unlikely of places. Before Bob Baffert trained the first Triple Crown winner in 47 years, he cultivated his tradecraft in Tucson.
More than 30 years ago, Dot Murphy, former All-American and women’s basketball coach at Mississippi University for Women, sat with her children at Hinds Community College football practice watching her husband, Gene, coach the Eagles defense.
WINDOW ROCK — At 5:15 a.m., sunrise is only a thin pale highlight over red rock mesas in the east as Alicia Hale steps out of her house for her daily run. Even in June, the morning is so chilly at an altitude of almost 7,000 feet that she needs several layers to stay warm.
The first thing Bernie Ray looks at when the Diamondbacks announce their schedule is the promotional games. She hasn’t missed one of them. After all, an A.J. Pollock Star Wars bobblehead is worth planning for.