Kentucky Derby

The Week in Review: Latest Crisis Descends on Sport, Baffert

The week between the GI Kentucky Derby and the GI Preakness S. is typically a quiet one, and this year the racing industry was basking in the glow of an exciting and safe Derby headlined by a feel-good story: Medina Spirit (Protonico), a hard-battling underdog any average joe could have purchased at public auction as a $1,000 yearling, had unexpectedly won the Run for the Roses under the care of seven-time Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert, and was heading to Baltimore as a likeable overachiever trying to win the second jewel...

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Preakness Draw Moved to Tuesday

Hours after releasing a statement saying it was reviewing the "relevant facts and information relating to the reported medication positive as a result of the post-race blood sample testing completed by Churchill Downs following the 147th Kentucky Derby involving Medina Spirit trained by Bob Baffert," The Stronach Group announced it was postponing the draw for Saturday's GI Preakness S. until Tuesday. The draw had originally been scheduled for Monday. It will now take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Pimlico Race Course and can be viewed at Facebook.com/Preakness.

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Zedan Stands by Baffert

Amr Zedan, the Saudi Arabian businessman who owns Medina Spirit (Protonico), said Sunday that he believes Bob Baffert is innocent of any wrongdoing in this year's GI Kentucky Derby and will stand behind his trainer. Baffert informed the media Sunday that Medina Spirit tested positive for the medication Betamethasone, a corticosteroid, after crossing the wire in front in this year's Derby. "I totally support and believe Bob Baffert," Zedan told the TDN. "He is a professional beyond belief and he has never administered this drug to this horse at all....

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Churchill Downs Announces Ban on Baffert Entrants

Following the news Sunday morning that last week's GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) had tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone, Churchill Downs issued a statement, notably saying that it would not allow trainer Bob Baffert to enter runners at its track pending a full Kentucky Horse Racing Commission investigation. The statement read: "It is our understanding that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit's post-race blood sample indicated a violation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky's equine medication protocols. The connections of Medina Spirit have the right to request a test...

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Baffert Reveals Betamethasone Positive for Derby Winner Medina Spirit

Bob Baffert told the media Sunday morning at Churchill Downs that his stable has been informed by the Kentucky Racing Commission that GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for the medication betamethasone in post-race tests conducted after the Derby. In a 13-minute press conference (video) at his barn on the Churchill Downs backstretch Baffert, denied any wrongdoing. "All I can tell you is that betamethasone is an allowed therapeutic medication, but we did not give it to this horse," Baffert said. "In fact, Medina Spirit has never...

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This Side Up: Something Missing in the Modern Derby

The fastest two minutes in sport? Maybe. Only sometimes, these days, it feels as though time is standing still. Last Saturday we had yet another GI Kentucky Derby where the protagonists had already volunteered themselves before the clubhouse turn. For the moment, speed seems to have a lock on the race. You have to go back to Orb for a closer; and beyond, for the flamboyant pounces of Calvin Borel. This time round, the first four were all in the first six at the first bend. At the quarter-pole, they...

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Mandaloun, 'Caddo' to Skip Preakness, 'Bourbon' Gets Green Light

GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Mandaloun (Into Mischief) and stakes winner Caddo River (Hard Spun) will both pass on a run in next Saturday's GI Preakness S., trainer Brad Cox reported Thursday, significantly thinning the group of potential upsetters for Derby hero Medina Spirit (Protonico) in the Triple Crown's Middle Jewel. "We made the decision in the last hour to bypass the Preakness and point for Grade I's throughout the rest of the season," said trainer Brad Cox said of the Juddmonte homebred. "He has responded really well. We actually took...

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Fresh Off Derby/Oaks Double, John Velazquez Joins Writers' Room

There's been a lot of attention, rightfully so, on Bob Baffert in the wake of his record-breaking seventh GI Kentucky Derby conquest Saturday. But John Velazquez made a little history of his own under the Twin Spires this weekend, becoming just the eighth jockey ever to win both the GI Kentucky Oaks and Derby in the same year. Wednesday, the Hall of Fame rider joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by J.P. Morgan Private Banking and Keeneland to talk Malathaat (Curlin), Medina Spirit (Protonico), his approach to race-riding, potential plans...

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John Velazquez Joins the TDN Writers' Room

Fresh off a Derby-Oaks double, Eclipse Award-winning jockey John Velazquez joined this week's Writers' Room to talk on his rides aboard Malathaat and Medina Spirit and share his experiences as a leading jockey and respected mentor.

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Concert Tour Confirmed for Preakness

Bob Baffert confirmed to the Maryland Jockey Club press department Tuesday that 'TDN Rising Star' Concert Tour (Street Sense) will contest next Saturday's GI Preakness S., taking on GI Kentucky Derby-winning stablemate Medina Spirit (Protonico). "We figure, this is the race," Baffert said. "The Derby is run. A lot of horses, they went through a lot to get here. He's sort of a fresh horse. In the Rebel, he looked so good." Gary and Mary West homebred Concert Tour began his career three-for-three, taking Santa Anita's GII San Vicente S....

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Letter to the Editor: In Appreciation of Mattress Mack

by Nick Tammaro Marketing. Promotion. Advertising. Those are words that are often kicked around boardrooms and offices throughout the world. For "Mattress Mack" they are the fundamental elements of a business that has been successful for four decades. For the people whose lives he's touched, and they are innumerable, he means everything. My personal involvement in racing is vast, but I've long considered myself a student of the game. I handicap, play the races, make speed figures, participate in contests, appear on radio and occasionally on TV. A few weeks...

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NBC Draws 14.5M Viewers for Kentucky Derby

NBC Sports' presentation of the 147th Kentucky Derby averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 14.5 million viewers as the "Run for the Roses" returned to its traditional first Saturday in May date. It represented a 54% increase from last year's event (9.4 million Sept. 5), according to official national data provided by Nielsen and digital data from Adobe Analytics. Viewership peaked at 15.7 million viewers from 6:45-7 p.m. ET on NBC as Medina Spirit gave Bob Baffert his record seventh victory. The TV-only average audience of 14.4 million viewers...

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