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On eve of Kentucky Derby, Bill Belichick and trainer Bob Baffert talk about winning, and mutual respect

Bill Belichick's interview will air Saturday as part of NBC’s presentation of the 147th Kentucky Derby.
Bill Belichick's interview will air Saturday as part of NBC’s presentation of the 147th Kentucky Derby.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Patriots coach — and longtime horse racing enthusiast — Bill Belichick sat down for an interview alongside racehorse trainer Bob Baffert before the NFL Draft.

In a conversation that airs Saturday as part of NBC’s presentation of the 147th Kentucky Derby, Belichick and Baffert expressed mutual admiration.

“Racing is a tough profession,” Belichick said. “You get one shot at it. There’s no halftime; there’s no timeouts to make adjustments. Once they come out of the gate, that’s it. You got two minutes to win, and that’s an incredible skill.”

Added Baffert: “What we have in common is that we do get good players, but we know what to do with them when we get them.”

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They are no strangers to success. Belichick has won a record six Super Bowls as a head coach, and Baffert’s horses have won six Kentucky Derbys. If Baffert’s horse, Medina Spirit, wins Saturday, he’ll break his tie with Ben Jones for most Derby wins by a trainer.

According to Baffert, the challenge only grows with each victory.

“To me, it gets harder because it’s expected of you,” Baffert said. “We expect Bill Belichick to win the Super Bowl every year. It’s difficult. They don’t know what the process was just to get there.”

“Each one, I think I have a little bit more appreciation for, but also recognize how much harder it is to get that next one,” said Belichick.

So, given the amount of success they’ve achieved, what keeps the two in their businesses? The answer is simple for Belichick, who turned 69 years old earlier this month.

“I enjoy it,” he said. “I enjoy every day of it.”


Nicole Yang can be reached at nicole.yang@globe.com.