Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

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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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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KY Advances Whip Rule That Guild Believes Can Be North American Model

After nearly two years of negotiations and rewrites, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday unanimously advanced a more humane whipping rule that The Jockeys' Guild is endorsing as a possible model regulation for all North American jurisdictions to follow. The chief change sets a limit of six overhand hits per race with no more than two strikes in succession to give the horse a chance to respond. Jennifer Wolsing, the general counsel for the KHRC, explained prior to the vote that if necessary, jockeys may also use the...

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In Baffert Case, Sides Haggle Over Urine Sample

Lawyers representing the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) and Bob Baffert squared off before Franklin Circuit County Judge Thomas Wingate Friday morning in a dispute over whether or not additional urine samples from Medina Spirit (Protonico) from the GI Kentucky Derby should be made available to the defendants' lawyers and, if so, in what quantity? The Baffert team has asked for an additional urine sample because it believes further testing can prove that the drug in question, Betamethasone, found its way into Medina Spirit through an ointment used to clear...

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Team Medina Spirit Goes to Court to Force Alternate Urine Testing

The connections of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonic) have filed a civil complaint against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) in an effort to force the agency to turn over the colt's post-race urine sample so it can be tested in a way that trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., believe will prove that a betamethasone finding resulted from an ointment to treat a skin condition (Otomax) and not from an intra-articular injection. According to a June 7 filing in Kentucky's Franklin County Circuit Court...

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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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Six-Strike Overhand Whipping Rule Could Be Legal in Kentucky by February

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is on its way to a long-planned rewrite of the state's whipping rules, and the chief change would set a limit of six overhand hits per race with no more than two strikes in succession to give the horse a chance to respond. In addition, the penalty structure will be tweaked. As explained by Jennifer Wolsing, the general counsel for the KHRC, "The stewards would be able to impose a $500 minimum fine or a three-day minimum suspension. Or, if the stewards believe that...

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Stud Farms Sue Over 140-Mare Cap, Allege 'Blatant Abuse of Power' by The Jockey Club

Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud and Three Chimneys Farm are suing The Jockey Club in federal court over the "stallion cap" rule that went into effect in 2020, alleging that the 140-mare breeding limit now being phased in amounts to a "blatant abuse of power" that acts as an "anti-competitive restraint" and threatens to disrupt the free-market nature of the bloodstock business. The plaintiffs contend that the stallion cap "serves no legitimate purpose and has no scientific basis" while alleging that the nine stewards of The Jockey Club who voted to...

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KHRC Awards $14.3 Million to Kentucky Breeders for 2020

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has awarded $14.3 million to qualified breeders through the Thoroughbred Breeders' Incentive Fund for Kentucky Thoroughbreds' wins in 2020. The incentive fund requires owners to board mares in Kentucky from the time of breeding until the birth of the foal. Incentive payments are based on the foal's eventual winnings on the racetrack. Last year, nearly 3,500 races were won by a Kentucky-bred receiving a breeder award. Kentucky-breds won over 245 graded stakes in the United States and 18 group races in Canada, England, France and...

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Gamine DQ'd from Oaks Third

Michael Lund's Gamine (Into Mischief) has been disqualified and purse money was forfeited from her third-place effort in last year's GI Kentucky Oaks after testing positive for betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory medication that is classified as a Class C drug, and trainer Bob Baffert has been fined $1,500. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission issued the ruling last Saturday. Baffert waived his right to a formal hearing on the infraction. Gamine's disqualification promotes Speech (Mr Speaker), originally fourth, to third in the Oaks. The positive test was first reported publicly by The...

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HHR Bill Introduced in Kentucky State Senate

Kentucky State Senator John Schickel and Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers introduced Senate Bill 120 into the Kentucky State legislature late Tuesday with the goal of keeping historical horse racing in Kentucky and ensuring the future of Kentucky's signature equine industry. "KEEP applauds Senator Schickel and Senate President Stivers for Introducing Senate Bill 120, Legislation to Keep Historical Horse Racing in Kentucky," read a KEEP press release issued late yesterday. "In response to the Supreme Court's ruling on historical horse racing, the legislation will define pari-mutuel wagering to be consistent...

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Kentucky Advances Clenbuterol Regulations; Turfway Switches Weekly Race Days

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) advanced a proposal Dec. 8 that will create a set of new regulations designed to curb clenbuterol's off-label abuse as a lean muscle mass builder. The move is part of a trend this year among North American racing jurisdictions aiming to eliminate clenbuterol's misuse as a performance enhancer while putting in place restrictions that will still allow the drug to be prescribed for its intended purpose as a bronchodilator to treat airway disease. The new Kentucky rules on clenbuterol will require 1) A specific...

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