Bob Baffert banned in New York after Medina Spirit drug test fails

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Bob Baffert banned in New York after Medina Spirit drug test fails


Bob Baffert has been temporarily suspended by the New York Racing Association, which means the coach may well miss next month’s Belmont Stakes, the final stop in America’s horse racing Triple Crown.

The suspension comes after one of Baffert’s horses, Medina Spirit, failed a drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission must wait for further results before making a final decision on whether to strip the horse of its victory. The NYRA ban means Baffert will not be able to enter horses in the Saratoga Race Course, Aqueduct Racetrack, or Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, which takes place on June 5.

“In order to maintain a thriving thoroughbred racing industry in New York City, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants,” said NYRA President and CEO , Dave O’Rourke in a joint release. “This responsibility demands action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing.”

Baffert had not made a commitment to enter a horse in the third stage of the Triple Crown, but had a lot in consideration for other races on Belmont Stakes day.

NYRA officials said they have taken into account Baffert’s previous sanctions in Kentucky, California and Arkansas, as well as the current situation with Medina Spirit, and expect to make a final decision on how long and how long. terms of the suspension based on information revealed by the ongoing Kentucky investigation.

Craig Robertson, a lawyer who represents Baffert, did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.

Medina Spirit has tested positive for the steroid betamethasone in post-race testing and risks disqualification unless a second test is negative. Baffert said on May 9 that 21 picograms of the corticosteroid, which can be used to help a horse’s joints, appeared in the blood sample. Baffert a day later said that an ointment used to treat Medina Spirit for a skin condition every day until the Derby figured out the substance. Even a trace of betamethasone in a horse’s system is not allowed on race day in Kentucky, Maryland, and New York.

Maryland officials have asked Medina Spirit and the concert tour of Baffert-trained runner Preakness Stakes and Beautiful Gift participant Black-Eyed Susan to undergo three sets of preliminary tests before they can show up on the weekend. last in Pimlico. All three passed and were allowed to run. Medina Spirit finished third and the Preakness concert tour ninth on Saturday. Beautiful Gift finished seventh in the Black-Eyed Susan on Friday.

Baffert has had five violations involving inadmissible drug levels in his horses in the past 13 months. He was fined in Kentucky and Arkansas and avoided a suspension in Arkansas following an appeal.

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