Kentucky Derby

Breeders' Cup to Require Extra Scrutiny of Baffert Horses

Horses trained by Bob Baffert, whose Kentucky Derby win with Medina Spirit (Protonico) remains in doubt due to a betamethasone positive, will undergo enhanced scrutiny in order to participate in the upcoming Breeders' Cup championship races at Del Mar, the Breeders' Cup announced Sunday. The statement by the Breeders' Cup read: "The Breeders' Cup Board of Directors convened a special review under legal counsel to evaluate the recent conduct of Mr. Bob Baffert in order to determine whether he should be permitted to participate in the 2021 World Championships. In...

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Baffert's Hearing on NYRA Exclusion Gets Pushed Into '22

A Jan. 24, 2022, start date for the hearing process to determine whether the New York Racing Association (NYRA) can exclude trainer Bob Baffert from racing at its three tracks was mutually agreed upon by the two parties during a Monday videoconference. A NYRA spokesperson confirmed to TDN that the schedule was established during the Oct. 11 conference by hearing officer O. Peter Sherwood. Baffert must answer to a three-count complaint filed against him by NYRA in the form of a "statement of charges." Those three counts correspond to Baffert's...

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The Week in Review: Letruska Belongs in the Classic

Minutes after another easy win by Letruska (Super Saver), this time in the GI Juddmonte Spinster S. Sunday at Keeneland, trainer Fausto Gutierrez told reporters that the GI Breeders' Cup Distaff, and not the GI Breeders' Cup Classic, would be next for his 5-year-old mare. That was hardly a surprise. Gutierrez and German Larrea, the Mexican billionaire businessman who owns the horse, are looking to play it safe. Letruska is simply better than every other filly and mare in the sport and shouldn't have any problem winning the Distaff. The...

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Medina Spirit Cruises in WAYI Awesome Again

For 110 seconds on an unseasonably hot Saturday afternoon in Southern California, all was right in the world of Zedan Racing Stables' Medina Spirit (Protonico). Having given last Saturday's GI Pennsylvania Derby a miss, the blue-collar colt was rerouted to Saturday's GI Awesome Again S. and a first try against some accomplished older horses. With a berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic on the line, the Florida-bred once again displayed the tenacity and raw ability that carried him past the post first in the GI Kentucky Derby, leading every...

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NYRA Slams Baffert's 'Premature' Claim for 'Disproportionately High' Legal Fees

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) fired back in court Monday against Bob Baffert's attempt to collect $162,086 in legal fees and expenses from NYRA that have resulted from the Hall of Fame trainer's lawsuit against NYRA. Calling his request "premature" while claiming that the $450 to $975 hourly fees charged by his lawyers are "disproportionately high," NYRA also alleged that Baffert is attempting to twist a legal provision "intended to incentivize attorneys to represent individual civil rights plaintiffs that might otherwise be unrepresented" to his own financial benefit when...

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The Week in Review: Does the Path to the Classic Run Through Parx

It was 35 years ago this weekend that Broad Brush bolted to the outside fence at the top of the stretch while on a clear lead in the Pennsylvania Derby, then amazingly re-rallied to claw back the lead for an improbable win. They've long since rebranded Philadelphia Park to Parx, added a racino, and been awarded an upgrade of that track's premier stakes from Grade II to Grade I. But history tends to repeat, and that same quirky spot at the quarter pole proved eerily enigmatic yet again on Saturday,...

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Medina Spirit to Scratch from PA Derby

Medina Spirit (Protonico), the 2-1 morning-line favorite for Saturday's GI Pennsylvania Derby, will not be making the trip to Parx this weekend. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday that the GI Kentucky Derby winner will remain in California and instead run in the GI Awesome Again S. against older horses at Santa Anita Oct. 2. "I want to do what is best for the horse," Baffert said. "I don't like the way he drew." Medina Spirit was assigned post position nine in the Pennsylvania Derby. Medina Spirit, third...

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No Points for Suspended Trainers on Road to the Kentucky Derby

The official "Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve," will begin Sept. 18 at Churchill Downs with the GIII Iroquois S., has been unveiled with a new proviso that horses under the care of suspended trainers will not be awarded points in the Derby prep races. Effective Sept. 30, points from any race in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" will not be awarded to any horse trained by any individual who is suspended from racing in the 2022 Kentucky Derby or any trainer directly or indirectly employed,...

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NYRA Schedules Hearings, Issues Charges, for Baffert, Vitali

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has issued charges and scheduled hearings for trainers Bob Baffert and Marcus Vitali, NYRA announced Friday morning. "NYRA contends that Mr. Baffert and Mr. Vitali have engaged in conduct that is detrimental to the best interests of the sport of Thoroughbred racing or potentially injurious to the health or safety of horses or riders," they said in a press release. "Further, as detailed in the respective statements of charges, this conduct warrants revocation or suspension of their right to train horses, enter races,...

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Medina Spirit Returns a Winner in Shared Belief

Zedan Racing Stable's Medina Spirit (Protonico), whose GI Kentucky Derby title still remains in limbo due to a betamethasone positive, returned to the winner's circle with a wire-to-wire victory in the Shared Belief S. at Del Mar Sunday. The dark bay colt, sent off the 4-5 favorite, went quickly to the lead and was tracked by second choice Rock Your World (Candy Ride {Arg}) through a quarter in :22.52 and a half in :46.92. The two favorites were swarmed by longshots nearing the stretch as GI Santa Anita Derby winner...

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Medina Spirit Possible for Pennsylvania Derby

Medina Spirit (Protonico), unraced since a third-place finish behind Rombauer (Twirling Candy) in the GI Preakness S. at Pimlico May 15, was not among the nominees to the Aug. 29 Shared Belief S., but may be ready for the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 25, trainer Bob Baffert said Saturday. "There have been rumors about that horse since May 1," Baffert said with a laugh. "There has been a lot of talk about that horse. He's going to breeze this week and I'll know more after that. I go work-by-work with...

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Mandaloun Sidelined With Sore Foot, Will Point to Saudi Cup

Juddmonte Farms' leading 3-year-old Mandaloun (Into Mischief), most recently seen capturing the GI Haskell S. via disqualification, has a sore foot and will likely miss the remainder of the season's major races, Juddmonte racing manager Garrett O'Rourke confirmed to TDN. The homebred will now target the 2022 Saudi Cup. "It's nothing serious, the horse just needs six weeks off, but unfortunately six weeks off at this time of year rules out some important races," O'Rourke said. The story was first reported by Daily Racing Form. O'Rourke added that the...

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