Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs Unveils Renovation Plans

Churchill Downs has unveiled plans for three capital investments to the historic Louisville track, beginning with the Homestretch Club for Kentucky Derby 2022 and culminating with a Paddock area redesign for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024. The Homestretch Club will renovate and update the grandstand area adjacent to the Twin Spires along the track's homestretch. The project will convert what is currently outdoor bleacher seating next to the Winner's Circle Suites and below the Jockey Club Suites into three unique seating options with all-inclusive amenities. Ticketed...

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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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Mandaloun 'Sound, Happy' After Eventful Haskell Win

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY--Shortly after GI TVG.com Haskell S. winner Mandaloun (Into Mischief) arrived at his barn at 10 a.m. Sunday morning following his trip north from Monmouth Park, trainer Brad Cox said it was too early to say what will be the next test for the Juddmonte homebred. Mandaloun reached the wire second in a Haskell, beaten a nose by Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow). Within minutes, though, the stewards awarded him the victory by disqualifying Hot Rod Charlie for causing Midnight Bourbon (Tiznow) to stumble in the stretch, unseating jockey...

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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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NYRA Tells Judge Its Motion to Dismiss Baffert Suit is Imminent

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) on Tuesday gave notice to a federal judge that it intends to file a formal motion to dismiss trainer Bob Baffert's civil complaint, which seeks to overturn NYRA's ban against him. On May 17, NYRA informed the Hall of Fame trainer with the highly-publicized string of recent equine drug positives that he was temporarily not welcome to stable or race at the association's three tracks, Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack. That ban, NYRA said at the time, would be re-evaluated once...

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Kentucky Derby 148 Logo Unveiled

Churchill Downs has released the official logo for Kentucky Derby 148. The logo was created by MogoSME, a strategic branding agency that has designed the Derby and Kentucky Oaks logos for the past 14 years. The 2022 GI Kentucky Derby is slated to be held Saturday, May 7.

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Zedan Dropped From Class-Action Horseplayers' Lawsuit

Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., the owner of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico), has been voluntary dismissed from a class-action federal lawsuit initiated by a group of horseplayers who want to collect damages from a purported years-long pattern of racketeering activity related to the alleged "doping" of Thoroughbreds by trainer Bob Baffert. Zedan Racing's founder is Amr Zedan. The dismissal "without prejudice" was filed by the plaintiffs June 23. Baffert, plus his incorporated racing stable, now remain as the only defendants in the suit, which was filed May 13...

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Jockey Club Wants to Give 'Unique Perspective' in Baffert vs. NYRA Suit

The Jockey Club (TJC) now wants to get involved in trainer Bob Baffert's federal lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA), which seeks to overturn his banishment from stabling and racing horses at Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, and Aqueduct Racetrack. In a June 22 letter to United States District Court (Eastern District of New York), Susan Phillips Read, an attorney for TJC, asked permission to file an "amicus" brief that she believes will "provide the Court with a unique perspective and information to assist in deciding the pending...

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Judge Gives Go-Ahead for Additional Testing of Medina Spirit Sample

Judge Thomas Wingate outlined the travel protocol to a New York lab Wednesday for the urine sample collected from Medina Spirit (Protonico) following his Kentucky Derby win last month, reported the Blood-Horse Wednesday. The Circuit Court Judge, who granted Amr Zedan's Zedan Racing and Bob Baffert the right to conduct further testing on the split sample, issued a temporary injunction Wednesday, outlining the flight plans, which will be funded by the plaintiffs. The judge, who stated that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission retain five milliliters of the sample, ordered at...

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The Week in Review: Attorney Vienna's Take on Baffert-Betamethasone Case

Having practiced law for more than 25 years, attorney Darrell Vienna has pretty much seen all there is to see when it comes to equine law, drug infractions, penalties and how racing commissions and courts interpret the rules. A former trainer based in California, he is renowned as one of the foremost experts in his field. So when it comes to the case of Medina Spirit (Protonico) and the positive test for betamethasone following the GI Kentucky Derby, his brain is well worth picking.  And Vienna has said that he...

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Mandaloun Overcomes Tough Trip in Monmouth's Pegasus

Juddmonte Farms' Mandaloun (Into Mischief), who may yet be named this year's GI Kentucky Derby winner should Medina Spirit (Protonico) be disqualified, held off a determined Weyburn (Pioneerof the Nile) to kick off the second half of his sophomore campaign with a win in the TVG.com Pegasus S. at Monmouth Park Sunday. Sent off the 1-5 favorite while facing just four rivals, Mandaloun was squeezed back to last soon after the break and trailed the compact field as longshot Lugamo (Chitu) set a leisurely pace up front with Weyburn a...

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