June 3, 2021 Sports Betting, Legal

Churchill Downs suspends Bob Baffert for two years

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Churchill Downs Inc. has suspended American horse trainer Bob Baffert for two years after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a steroid a second time.

Baffert’s ban begins immediately and is effective through the 2023 Spring Meet. Baffert, or any trainer employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables, in ineligible to enter a race horse or apply for stall occupancy at all Churchill Downs racetracks.

Baffert previously self-reported Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid betamethasone.

“CDI has consistently advocated for strict medication regulations so that we can confidently ensure that horses are fit to race and the races are conducted fairly,” said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. “Reckless practices and substance violations that jeopardize the safety of our equine and human athletes or compromise the integrity of our sport are not acceptable and as a company we must take measures to demonstrate that they will not be tolerated. Mr. Baffert’s record of testing failures threatens public confidence in thoroughbred racing and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby. Given these repeated failures over the last year, including the increasingly extraordinary explanations, we firmly believe that asserting our rights to impose these measures is our duty and responsibility.”

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is still completing an investigation into Medina Spirit’s positive tests. The KHRC has the authority to disqualify the horse as winner of the Kentucky Derby.

Last month the New York Racing Authority suspended Baffert from entering horses at New York racetracks including the Belmont Stakes. The race is set to take place this Saturday.

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