In what is without doubt the worst month of his career with the spectacular success, the analogy is both credible and accurate. The merch fantasy has suddenly disappeared from the barn’s top of the range Baffert.
His foals 3 years of age, undefeated, both were wounded: one, Nadal, with a fracture of the leg in the end of a career; the other, a Charlatan, with a problem ankle less than that which the held in the gap of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday and the Kentucky Derby in September. And then there was the sudden death of one of the greatest horses to Baffert, the standard retirement Arrogate, at the age of seven years. And there are the cloud’s persistent testing positive for Charlatan and Stablemate Kid, dating from the time when these horses have ran the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Race course on may 2.
The director of the Arkansas Racing Commission, Smokey Campbell, said Sports Illustrated this week that the State is still awaiting the results of the second samples of the horses. These samples could confirm or refute the first positive tests, that the New York Times reported was related to the lidocaine, a numbing agent topical. If they come back positive, Quack will be disqualified as the winner of the Derby to Arkansas, Baffert could face a suspension.Thus, the winner of two Triple Crowns and 15 races Triple Crown is thrown into the two plagues of modern horse racing: injury and the drug.
Nothing has done more to erode the credibility of the sport than those two things. The horses that fall are a spectacle disgusting, and for decades, it has been tolerated with too much frequency. And one of the reasons cited by critics for some of the failures has been the ability to pump the horses sick with drugs designed to make them run despite the injury. The other facet of the drug problem: players can’t rely on what they watch and who they bet.
The drug problem in the sport landed with a force renewed in march, when the federal authorities have charged 27 people in four indictments related to “expedition and the administration of … drugs designed to improve secretly and dangerously close to the performance of race horses beyond their natural abilities …” Among the accused was the trainer Jason Servis , who is suspected of having doped for many of his horses, which disqualified the winner of the Kentucky Derby 2019 Maximum Security.
The positive tests to which Baffert is faced with are away of the charges against Served and his colleague trainer Jorge Navarro – nobody lined up to declare it guilty of crime a criminal offence. But this would be his second time in the factory of manufacture of sausages tested in the past two years, after a positive test in 2018 to Justify has been allowed to linger in secret by the California Horse Racing Board for a horse won the Triple Crown. This has led to a bomb New York Times history in September 2019.
This positive test was attributed to the “contamination of the environment” – the grass Jimson, in particular, which contains scopolamine, a prohibited substance on the day of the race. It was in a shipment of food and of straw ingested by a number of horses based at Santa Anita Race Track. Several of these horses were positive for scopolamine. Any assertion that Baffert would deliberately drugged her horse star has not held up.
Now, however, he has a second positive test involving a horse from top – level Charlatan like the following in the long line of horses of great speed, Baffert at the time of the positive test.
Baffert has refused to reluctantly comment Sports Illustrated on the drug screening tests, citing the ongoing process. The people in the racing industry who know Baffert said that he was confident that he and his horses would eventually be exempt. Otherwise, it would be a blow tangible for the race. He is the biggest name and the face most recognizable in the sport, and one of the greatest of all time.
“If there was a mount Rushmore of coaches and trainers of horses, it would certainly be on it,” said Dick Jerardi, a columnist of the course of long date to the Philadelphia Daily News and other points of sale. “And yes, listen, if one of your horses featured has a positive result, it is not a good news. There is no way to put a happy face.
“But people see a positive test and do not make difference between them. The thing from two years ago, this was nothing. And this thing (positive test current) is not something that people should assimilate to obligations with Lance Armstrong or Barry. But it’s really bad for him. ”
With his career suddenly transformed into a country song, Baffert is outside of the first leg of the Triple Crown Saturday reprogrammed. A guy who appeared ready to dominate the series in mid-may will be watching the Belmont on tv like everyone else.
“We had them in the timeframe,” he said. “It simply doesn’t work. I felt like the Chicago Bulls and then, boom. Until you get this [championship] with your finger, you can’t count on anything in this sport. ”
On may 2, Nadal won with a dominant win at the first of two flights from Derby to Arkansas. And then Charlatan has done the same in the second volume These two, with Tiz The Law, seemed to be the three stars of the class of the 3 years. The only question was whether they could stay in shape until the 20th of June, and then beyond, in a Kentucky Derby moved to September 5, and the Preakness at 3 October.
Things are collapsing very quickly.
Nadal has suffered a fracture notch in training and was retired to stud at the end of may. Charlatan was then presented with what Baffert said was a minor problem of the ankle that required nevertheless a surgical intervention – it has been repaired Wednesday in Ocala, Florida, and Baffert has estimated that the colt could be back in his barn in 30 days.
However, Baffert had another 3 years undefeated in the barn Authentic. But it was pointed towards the end of the summer and early fall, and he has lost as a favorite 1-2 in the Derby Santa Anita a few weeks ago to barely – too close to make the turn toward the Belmont.
“If the Belmont had been a week later, I probably would have been Authentic there,” said Baffert, adding that the next departure of the horse could be the July Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park in New Jersey, with jockey Mike Smith aboard.
There are a few other children from 3 years old to late flowering in the barn, Uncle Chuck and Cezanne, but they do have each raced only once to date. “They are passers-by,” said Baffert. “Good enough walk-ons. ”
(The owners of Cezanne have paid 3.65 million dollars last year – not exactly the sale price.)
Horse racing has always been a game of ups and downs discordant. Bob Baffert has enjoyed plenty of both, with a series of successful sustained longer than anyone, ever. But after having been struck by injuries and testing positive, it became the main ambassador of the sport in his cautionary tale.