• Fri. Dec 2nd, 2022

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Horse racing legend Bob Baffert to be prohibited from home stables for 90 days

Horse racing legend Bob Baffert will be suspended for 90 days from his home track, Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles County, starting Monday, California regulators confirmed.

The statewide suspension parallels a 90-day prohibition from the Kentucky Derby, which suggested the trainer’s “unfitness” for his state license under California Horse Racing Board rules, according to an official ruling from Santa Anita’s Board of Stewards.

The suspensions, which are mirrored in all 38 horse racing states, stem from medication violations involving some of his horses, including 2021 Kentucky Derby first-place finisher Medina Spirit.

The colt was stripped of the title after testing positive, post-race, for the corticosteroid betamethasone, which is prohibited on race day. In December, Medina Spirit died during a workout at Santa Anita, where Bob Baffert Racing Stables, Inc. is based.

A Kentucky court last month denied Baffert’s attempt to pause the Derby suspension but put off the prohibition until Monday to allow him an emergency appeal, which was unsuccessful.

The Associated Press reported that signs outside Baffert’s barn at Santa Anita had been removed and four of his colts transferred to other trainers.

Baffert, a horse racing Hall of Fame inductee who has won six Derbies, has steadfastly denied wrongdoing and continues to challenge bans from upcoming Derbies in federal court.

“Bob will respect the CHRB’s [California Horse Racing Board’s] preliminary rulings, though he is disappointed by the extremely harsh suspension that so unfairly impacts all of his stable’s hard-working employees,” his attorney, Clark Brewster, said in a statement Saturday.

“Bob trusts that, ultimately, and with patience, the system will provide an opportunity for a fair, unbiased and informed decision,” the lawyer said.