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Baffert banned from having runners at New York racetracks

By Jon Vine
18 May 2021
  • We bring you the news that the New York Racing Association handed trainer Bob Baffert a temporary suspension
  • Baffert has been defending his reputation after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a drugs test
  • Baffert will not have any runners at Aqueduct, Belmont Park or Saratoga
bob baffert
Kentucky Derby trainer Bob Baffert looks on before the 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill. (Getty)
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Two weeks ago, we brought you the news that impressive Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit had failed a post-race drugs test. Medina Spirit tested positive for an anti-inflammatory, and officials in the United State were waiting on the results of a second blood test before sanctioning their punishment.

Since then, trainer Bob Baffert has been widely condemned in all corners of the press. Even chat show host Jimmy Kimmel commented on the absurdity of Baffert's initial excuse for Medina Spirit's positive sample.

Medina Spirit was, however, cleared to run in the Preakness Stakes this weekend - subject to three rounds of testing. Baffert's star could only finish third, as our 16/1 tip Rombauer won the Preakness Stakes

As if things couldn't get any worse, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced today that they had handed Baffert a temporary suspension from running any of his horses at New York racetracks.

"In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public, and racing participants," said Dave O'Rourke, NYRA president and chief executive. 

"That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing."

The NYRA will not accept any entries Baffert makes for horses to run at Belmont Park, Saratoga, or Aqueduct until this matter is resolved and the trainer has cleared his name.

Immediately after Medina Spirit returned that positive sample, Churchill Downs also slapped Baffert with a ban, meaning one of America's most high-profile and successful trainers was unable to run his horses at four of the countries preeminent racecourses.

Baffert's attorney, Craig Robertson, wrote: "I am just now reviewing the NYRA decision and then I will discuss it with Bob, along with all of his legal options. No formal statement or decision until both of those take place."

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