Clark Brewster

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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Joe Sharp Handed 30-Day Suspension, Will Appeal

Trainer Joe Sharp has been hit with a 30-day suspension and fined $2,500 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) after five horses he trained tested positive for the medication levamisole during a 16-day period at Churchill Downs in November, 2019. Sharp has said that the levamisole was found in an over-the-counter dewormer he purchased and used to treat his horses. He said he consulted with veterinarians before using the product and was told that it complied with pertinent racing and medication regulations. In addition to the Kentucky positives, eight...

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Dept. of Labor Sues Asmussen

According to published reports, the U.S. Labor Department has filed a lawsuit against trainer Steve Asmussen alleging that, since 2012, the trainer's KDE Equine has not paid Churchill Downs stable workers overtime and has failed to keep proper employment records regarding wages paid and hours worked. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Louisville, KY. "They just have a fundamental misunderstanding, honestly, of the hours that these folks work and how they're paid," Asmussen's attorney Clark Brewster told Louisville Courier-Journal. "And even if they were correct in their...

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