Bob Baffert 90-Day Suspension Now in Impact After Kentucky Courtroom Ruling


Posted on: April 4, 2022, 04:33h. 

Final up to date on: April 4, 2022, 04:33h.

Horse racing coach Bob Baffert will start serving his 90-day suspension handed down by Kentucky stewards on Monday. That’s as a result of a state appellate courtroom on Friday refused to challenge a keep to the corridor of fame coach as he appeals his case to the Kentucky Horse Racing Fee (KHRC).

Bob Baffert
Thoroughbred coach Bob Baffert with American Pharoah, one among his two Triple Crown successful colts, in a 2015 image. Beginning Monday, Baffert will start serving a 90-day suspension because of extreme quantities of betamethasone discovered within the system at Medina Spirit after he completed first in final yr’s Kentucky Derby.
(Picture: Benoit Picture/Santa Anita)

Baffert was suspended and fined $7,500 in February after stewards disqualified Medina Spirit because the 2021 Kentucky Derby winner as a result of the colt’s post-race drug take a look at confirmed extreme quantities of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory treatment. The suspension didn’t take impact instantly because the coach’s authorized crew started their attraction.

The transfer means Baffert will be unable to race horses in any of the Triple Crown races this yr. He was already banned by Churchill Downs from its tracks and from the Kentucky Derby in 2022 and 2023, though he’s suing the Louisville-based firm in federal courtroom over that. The coach additionally awaits potential punishment from the New York Racing Affiliation, which held listening to earlier this yr on the matter.

The 90-day suspension will probably be honored by all 38 states with a racing fee. Over the weekend, 1/ST Racing, the Stronach Group model that owns and operates Santa Anita Park, introduced that Baffert can be required to vacate the stalls at his house monitor in southern California. That’s because of California insurance policies relating to suspension of 60 days or extra.

Key Horses Transferred to Different Trainers

Even earlier than the Kentucky Courtroom of Appeals rendered its choice on Friday, a few of Baffert’s most promising horses on this yr’s Kentucky Derby path had been transferred to different trainers. That included Doppelganger, who completed fourth in Saturday’s Arkansas Derby, and Messier, a colt that has received three of his 5 profession begins. Each horses had been transferred to Tim Yakteen, a former assistant to Baffert.

Messier, named in honor of former hockey nice Mark Messier, is slated to run this upcoming weekend within the Santa Anita Derby. He would qualify for a spot within the Could 7 Kentucky Derby with a win and 100 qualifying factors and would doubtless earn a spot within the Run for the Roses ought to he end second Saturday, which might web the colt 40 factors.

Each horses beforehand ran in Derby preps however since they had been nonetheless educated by Baffert on the time, they didn’t earn any qualification factors, per Churchill Downs’ order.

Messier is taken into account a powerful contender to win this yr’s Kentucky Derby. His odds as of early Monday morning at +525 on the Circa Sports activities Derby futures board. That’s second solely to Louisiana Derby winner Epicenter.

Circa Sports activities Paul Zilm informed On line final week that Messier’s odds had been +1400 earlier than being moved to +700, and he had anticipated to see some motion earlier than the Santa Anita Derby.

Homeowners Made Transfer on the Personal

On Friday, after the courtroom ruling in Kentucky, a consultant from SF Racing LLC issued a press release relating to the 4 horses moved to Yakteen and Rodolphe Brisset. That got here after a March 24 press launch from Baffert included a quote from SF Racing that appeared to point Baffert had a job within the choice to maneuver the horses.

The homeowners alongside made this choice, and so they did so to be able to give the horses the chance they need to compete on this yr’s Kentucky Derby,” mentioned Tom Ryan within the Friday assertion. “There was some suggestion that Bob Baffert may receive a monetary profit from the switch of those horses and that he might someway stay concerned of their administration. Each are incorrect.”

SF Racing, which is owned by billionaire financier George Soros, is an element of a giant group that owns Messier, Doppelganer, McLaren Vale, and Blackadder. Yakteen additionally now trains McLaren Vale, whereas Brisset acquired Blackadder, who might run in Saturday’s Blue Grass Stakes, a Derby prep at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Baffert Continues to Struggle

Whereas a few of Baffert’s horses have moved to different stables, the coach plans to maintain combating each the KHRC and Churchill Downs suspensions.

An announcement issued by Baffert lawyer Clark Brewster after Friday’s appeals courtroom ruling indicated they had been “disenchanted” by the choice however famous that the courtroom’s denial was primarily based “on procedural grounds.”

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Occasions reported that Kentucky stewards recorded the Could 2021 name to Baffert notifying him of the primary optimistic take a look at on Medina Spirit. Baffert, who was in California on the time of the decision, was unaware that stewards had been recording it.

The legal guidelines pertaining to recording calls fluctuate by state. Kentucky is a one-party state, that means solely the caller or one other celebration on the decision have to understand it’s being recorded. California regulation requires all events to be notified that the decision is being recorded.

Brewster informed the Occasions he doubts the nondisclosure would have any affect on the KHRC attraction or that he would even use it in his arguments.

“However it does present their mindset that they had been taping it,” Brewster informed the Occasions. “They need to have simply introduced they had been taping it and every little thing would have been high-quality. However to do it on this method, it appears as in the event that they already had intent to try to get Bob.”

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