Letter to the Editor: Cynthia McGinnes

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Sarah Andrew

For the sake of being entirely accurate, which would help members of the press and public who aren't close followers of racing, I think it is important to clarify that Bob Baffert's positive tests have all been for overages of permitted medications not for banned substances.

I think it is an important point to make, as it is not the same as what Jason Servis was using. Also, the positive test for Gamine in the Oaks was within the rules–she received the Beta Vet 18 days before the race, which had a 14-day suggested withdrawal time. Gamine did not clear the medication within that withdrawal time, which happens occasionally.

Finally, perhaps not everyone knows that the Arkansas Racing Commission vacated the disqualifications for Gamine and Charlatan, restoring the purse money, because of problems with the testing. Several other horses that day turned up positive for lidocaine. Baffert and several other trainers, I believe, paid fines as absolute insurers, but there were no further penalties because of problems with the testing.

For the six months after Gamine's Oaks, which was an explainable violation, Baffert had no further positives until the Derby, where the tests are still ongoing as to which beta variant tested positive.

Actually, if the first Saturday in May hadn't been the first day of the month, it would not have been five in one year. Since May 1 there have been no further positives, making it basically one in the last year.

I feel as if the media has used incomplete information to blacken racing's reputation, and hope you feel the same way. I believe that it was the fungus cream that tested, as Baffert knew from Gamine's experience not to trust a withdrawal time for Beta Vet, and he certainly knew it would test. Medina Spirit' s performance was not enhanced in any way. The Derby winner was not doped!

I do hope as one of the most-read and -trusted publications that you can help to get the difference between banned substances and overages of permitted medications

made clear to the general public and media. Racing doesn't deserve this black eye.

Yours truly,

Cynthia McGinnes

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