Clark Brewster

Baffert, Zedan's Motion for Emergency Stay Denied

The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday denied a motion by trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan to stay their penalties related to Medina Spirit's betamethasone positive in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. This means the most severe of the sanctions, an under-appeal 90-day suspension imposed on Baffert by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC), will now go into effect as ordered on Monday, Apr. 4. In accordance with suspension-related regulations in California where Baffert is stabled at Santa Anita Park, signage was already being removed from his barn...

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Baffert Stay Request Denied by KHRC

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) voted 10-0 Friday to deny stays of penalties while trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan appeal their equine drug positive rulings related to Medina Spirit's disqualification from the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. One of Baffert's attorneys, W. Craig Robertson III, told TDN after the vote that the decision was "very disappointing." He added that "I have never seen the KHRC not grant a stay in the past. We will take the matter back up with the Franklin Circuit Court on Mar. 17." Robertson...

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Baffert Sues CDI, Carstanjen & Rankin Over Suspension

Trainer Bob Baffert has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky against Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI), CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen and CDI Board Chair Alex Rankin. Baffert is seeking a preliminary or permanent injunction that will enjoin Churchill from barring him. At present, Baffert cannot compete in the 2022 or 2023 runnings of the GI Kentucky Derby or any other races at Churchill or Churchill-owned tracks. He  is also fighting a separate action from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which suspended him for 90...

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Baffert: Without Stay, KHRC Suspension Will 'Effectively Put Me Out of Business'

The connections of recently disqualified GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) took to a Kentucky court Monday in an attempt to keep their equine drug positive penalizations from being enforced while their case gets appealed at the commission level. Trainer Bob Baffert is facing a 90-day suspension and $7,500 fine for now-deceased Medina Spirit's betamethasone overage in the 2021 Derby. Owner Amr Zedan has been ordered by the KHRC to forfeit his colt's purse winnings. But the DQ of Medina Spirit from America's most important horse race will affect...

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KHRC Denies Baffert a Stay of Suspension

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has denied trainer Bob Baffert's request for a stay of a 90-day suspension handed down to him earlier in the week for Medina Spirit (Protonico)'s betamethasone positive in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. The KHRC also denied a stay of its decision to disqualify Medina Spirit from first place in last year's GI Kentucky Derby. The Louisville Courier Journal and the Daily Racing Form were among the first to report the story. In most circumstances, once a trainer or owner has appealed a racing...

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No Baffert Trainees Nominated to Oaks

A total of 103 horses have been nominated to the GI Kentucky Oaks and they all have one thing in common: none are trained by Bob Baffert. According to Churchill Downs Senior Director, Media Services, Darren Rogers, it was not a case of Churchill rejecting Baffert's nominees, but a matter of Baffert failing to nominate any horses. Baffert is under suspension at Churchill and ineligible to race in the Oaks, but that doesn't mean that horses currently under his care won't be able to compete in the race. Baffert's owners...

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Baffert Legal Team Optimistic After KHRC Hearing

A full 289 days after the running of the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby, the Churchill Downs stewards finally got around Monday to holding a closed-door hearing regarding the positive post-race test for Medina Spirit (Protonico). And while a decision may not be imminent, Clark Brewster, the lawyer representing trainer Bob Baffert, said he emerged from the hearing hopeful that his side will prevail. "Upon an honest and fair-minded review, Bob Baffert and Medina Spirit will be fully exonerated," Brewster wrote in a text. As has been the case with the...

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Baffert Takes Stand In NYRA Hearing; KY Hearing Next

Bob Baffert testified for about 3 1/2 hours in Thursday's hearing to determine whether the New York Racing Association (NYRA) can exclude the trainer over alleged "detrimental conduct." Much of the testimony consisted of exchanges between the Hall of Fame trainer and NYRA attorney Hank Greenberg, whose attempts to rattle Baffert were largely unsuccessful. The Hall of Famer stuck to what has been the narrative from his team since the issues of his repeated medication violations first arose--that each offense involved mitigating circumstances that explain why he wasn't deserving of...

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Credibility Challenged, Former NY Steward Erupts at Baffert Hearing

Under pressure of cross-examination that questioned his credibility, a retired New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) steward launched into a nearly five-minute tirade just before the close of Wednesday's hearing to determine whether the New York Racing Association (NYRA) can exclude trainer Bob Baffert over alleged "detrimental conduct." Voice cracking with emotion and punctuating points by banging his fist on the witness table, Stephen Lewandowski, who served as the state steward at NYRA tracks between 2014 and 2019, lost his cool after testifying in support of Baffert and then facing...

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'Social Licensing' The Day Two Focal Point of Baffert/NYRA Hearing

The concept of perception versus reality has been a core plank on both sides of the highly publicized "detrimental conduct" case ever since the New York Racing Association (NYRA) first tried to banish trainer Bob Baffert eight months ago. On Tuesday, the second day of a hearing process that could lead to Baffert's exclusion from New York's premier tracks, the murky interpretation of who should be considered the true victim and which entity is in need of protection from harm rose to the forefront in the form of arguments over...

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KHRC Vacates Levamisole Rulings Against Sharp

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has vacated the sanctions it imposed on trainer Joe Sharp following five positive tests for levamisole in horses who ran at Churchill Downs in November 2019. A KHRC ruling issued Thursday and first reported by Blood-Horse, read, "Due to the de-classification of levamisole in August 2015 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, all penalties previously assessed to Owner/Trainer Joe Sharp in Stewards' Rulings #21-0006, #21-0008, #21-0010, #21-0011 and #21-0012 are hereby vacated." Sharp was suspended 30 days and fined $2,500 by the KHRC last January...

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Baffert Seeks $162K in Legal Fees from NYRA

Even though trainer Bob Baffert has secured only a preliminary injunction in his ongoing lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that allows him to race at New York's three major tracks pending the final resolution of the case, his attorneys filed a motion in federal court Aug. 25 seeking $162,086 in legal fees and expenses from NYRA based on the claim that Baffert is due that money as the "prevailing party." The three attorneys Baffert engaged for work on this case have billed him at rates between $450...

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