Bob Baffert

Street Sense Colt the Latest 'Rising Star' for Avengers

Murray (Street Sense), the most fancied of a trio of Bob Baffert-trained juveniles owned by the stallion-making conglomerate most easily referred to as "The Avengers" and seeking their diplomas in Del Mar's second race Sunday, blew past the buzzed-about even-money Peter Miller newcomer Drink the Wind (More Than Ready) en route to 'TDN Rising Star'-dom. The $300,000 Keeneland September yearling broke on top at 5-2 but Drink the Wind was ridden along to seize a clear lead. Murray was content to sit second under Flavien Prat and began to ratchet...

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Sunday's Racing Insights: Flashy Juveniles Line Up on Both Coasts

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 1st-SAR, $100K, Msw, 2yo, f, 6f, 1:05 p.m. Tout Ensemble (Practical Joke) makes her first start here for Chad Brown and the powerful partnership of Peter Brant, Mrs. M. V. Magnier and Mrs. Paul Shanahan. The $185,000 KEENOV weanling topped the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale this April at 360,000gns (approximately $520,000). Click for more. A half to Group 2-placed juvenile Rebel Tale (Tale of the Cat), the May 4 foal hails from a productive female family of graded/group winners. Her dam is half to...

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Vitali—Aided by Baffert Court Order—Resurfaces at Saratoga

When the New York Racing Association (NYRA) barred Hall-of-Fame trainer Bob Baffert back in May over integrity concerns surrounding his five equine drug positives in a one-year span, it was only a matter of time before speculative comparisons began to percolate within the industry along the lines of, "They banned Baffert, but they allow so-and-so to race?" You could have inserted the name of any controversial or rogue trainer of your choice in that above sentence. But it didn't take long for the entries at Saratoga Race Course to supply...

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Doug O'Neill Talks 'Questionable' Haskell DQ, Whip Rules On Writers' Room

Trainer Doug O'Neill experienced the agony and ecstasy of racing early Saturday evening at Monmouth Park, all in the span of less than 10 minutes. First, his star 3-year-old Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) won a hard-fought stretch battle in the GI TVG.com Haskell S., which would have been the colt's first Grade I victory after a handful of near-misses. But quickly after the race, in which Hot Rod Charlie came in on Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) and the latter soon stumbled and lost rider Paco Lopez, the red inquiry sign lit...

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Letter to the Editor: Time for Horse Racing to Exhale

by Armen Antonian, Ph.D. Horse racing is stuck: stuck in the winter of 2019. Stuck at my home track at Santa Anita. That Santa Anita winter meet saw 37 horses euthanized and the meet stopped for a time due to horse safety concerns. California Senator Dianne Feinstein admonished the track publicly and Governor Gavin Newsom called horse racing "archaic."  There was real fear among Santa Anita officials for the continuation of horse racing in California. The events at Santa Anita were a trauma that reverberated around the U.S. racing world....

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More Allegations of Damaged Samples in Medina Spirit Testing

An attempt by the connections of Medina Spirit (Protonico) to have a third-party lab perform a new series of tests on the colt's bodily fluids in the wake of the colt's GI Kentucky Derby betamethasone positive has resulted in allegations by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) of a "lack of candor and contemptuous conduct by the New York Laboratory, [trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing Stables], or both." According to a status report and motion for order filed in Kentucky's Franklin Circuit Court July 19, the KHRC wants...

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Legal Expert Bennett Liebman on Who Won, Who Lost in Baffert Decision

As a Government Lawyer in Residence at Albany Law School and an adjunct professor of law, attorney and educator, Bennett Liebman has long had his finger on the pulse when it come to racing's rules, regulations and laws. He has written extensively on the subjects of due process and whether or not racetracks have the right to exclude licensees, two key elements of Bob Baffert's lawsuit against NYRA in which he sought injunctive relief to have his suspension temporally overturned. For three years, the New Yorker was Deputy Secretary to...

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This Side Up: Haskell Throwbacks to the Future

So the big question is whether the out-of-town jocks, in the heat of a $1-million battle for the GI TVG.com Haskell S., can master the instinct to reach for the whip? If any lifelong flagellants are anxious of their self-discipline, then they need only play back the 1988 running and remind themselves how Laffit Pincay, Jr. coaxed Forty Niner home, in withering heat, by a nose from Seeking the Gold. The whip is unsheathed, for sure, but so seamlessly with the horse's own efforts that the overall effect is like...

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Baffert Gets Injunction to Race in New York

A federal judge at 5 p.m. Wednesday granted trainer Bob Baffert a preliminary injunction in his lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that will allow him to race at New York's three major tracks pending the resolution of the case. In a civil complaint filed by Baffert June 14, the seven-time GI Kentucky Derby-winning trainer had alleged that NYRA's banishment of him since May 17 over the issue of his repeated equine drug violations violates his constitutional right to due process. That same day he moved for an...

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Judge Delays Ruling in Baffert-NYRA Case

BROOKLYN--After an-hour-and-forty minute hearing Monday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in which lawyers representing Bob Baffert argued for a preliminary injunction that would allow the trainer to once again race at the New York Racing Association tracks, Judge Carol Bagley Amon did not render a decision and did not give a time frame for doing so. The hearing came on the heels of a May 17 announcement from NYRA in which the racing organization said Baffert had been temporarily suspended, which meant...

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The Week in Review: What the Larry Saumell Case Might Mean for Baffert

It was another week when the Bob Baffert-NYRA saga again dominated the headlines, with both sides killing a lot of trees with their voluminous and seemingly never ending legal filings. At times it was mind numbing, and the laymen among us are having a hard time discerning what is important, what is not, whether or not there are any precedents to consider and which side appears to be winning a fight that grows more acrimonious by the day. After Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for betamethasone in the GI Kentucky...

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Baffert Reveals Names of Owners Allegedly on Verge of Leaving Him

In response to an order from a federal judge for trainer Bob Baffert to reveal specifically which of his existing clients have told him they may pull horses from his care if his banishment by the New York Racing Association (NYRA) is allowed to continue, Baffert's legal team on Friday provided the court with a list of five Thoroughbred owners who are allegedly considering splitting with the Hall of Fame conditioner. According to a one-page letter filed electronically by attorney W. Craig Robertson just minutes before the judge's mandated noon...

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