Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

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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Letter to the Editor: Steve Venosa

You've all heard this song before, I'm sure, but humor me. I was co-owner of a horse who was running at Turfway Park last week. So I sent the requisite information to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to get licensed in the state before the horse ran Dec. 31. In speaking with a woman in the office, I was asked if I wanted to get a one-year or two-year license. Since I don't often run horses, I decided on the shorter option only to be told my "one-year" license would...

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Baffert vs. NYRA Fight Grinds On

Bob Baffert filed a legal response Friday to the New York Racing Association (NYRA)'s recent attempt to dismiss his amended civil complaint, in which the Hall-of-Fame trainer is fighting an allegedly "sham" hearing process initiated by NYRA to determine if he will be excluded from New York's premier tracks. The Dec. 10 filing in United States District Court (Eastern District of New York) rebutted and reargued a number of legal points that have already been volleyed back and forth by both sides since Baffert filed the initial version of his...

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Trainers Bauer, Foley Hit with Kentucky Drug Suspensions

Kentucky stewards have disqualified two winners and a third-place horse while assessing trainers Philip Bauer and Greg Foley 30-day suspensions and $500 fines for three separate post-race drug tests that came back positive in recent months. It was not immediately known if appeals were in the works. Bauer's two suspensions will run concurrently because the stewards cited mitigating circumstances (including "first medication violation in training career"), but he will be responsible for paying both fines. Foley's one suspension got halved via stay to 15 days, also because of mitigating circumstances...

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Kentucky Horse Racing Commission Issues Shipping Warning

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has issued a warning to licensees regarding recent reports of inhumane, dangerous, and sometimes lethal practices used in transporting horses internationally, via cargo ship, from the United States. "Overcrowding horses in makeshift containers has reportedly led to numerous deaths and injuries," a release from the KHRC read. "These cargo shipping practices are alarming, abusive, and will not be tolerated in Kentucky. "The KHRC will take immediate licensure action against any licensee who knowingly or willfully directs or participates in activities that abuse, neglect, or...

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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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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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