Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

KHRC Approves Transparency Regs

With zero debate or discussion preceding unanimous votes on two separate agenda items, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) on Tuesday adopted rewritten rules aimed at increasing transparency. The major changes include lifting prohibitions on the public disclosure of alleged violations, new guidelines that establish a 60-day time frame for holding hearings, and the opening of those hearings to anyone who wants to observe them. Tweaks to the equine drug-testing process are also in the pipeline. They include a requirement for owners and trainers to select an approved lab for...

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KHRC Aims to Rewrite Transparency Regulations

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) is on the cusp of approving rewritten rules aimed at increasing transparency. The major changes include lifting prohibitions on the public disclosure of alleged violations, new guidelines that establish a 60-day time frame for holding hearings, and the opening of those hearings to anyone who wants to observe them. Tweaks to the equine drug-testing process are also in the pipeline. They include a requirement for owners and trainers to select an approved lab for split-sample testing within five days of being provided with the...

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Baffert, Zedan Escalate Appeals to Higher Kentucky Court

Trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan filed motions with the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Thursday in an attempt to legally block a series of looming penalties related to the equine drug positive rulings of Medina Spirit in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. The most severe of those sanctions is a 90-day suspension for Baffert that is set to start Apr. 4. The Mar. 24 filing came barely 72 hours after a lower court rejected Baffert and Zedan's plea for a stay or temporary injunction that would have kept...

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Baffert Stay Denied by Franklin County Judge

A Kentucky judge on Monday denied a request for a stay and/or a temporary injunction that would have kept trainer Bob Baffert's and owner Amr Zedan's penalties from being enforced while the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) appeals process plays out for rulings related to Medina Spirit's betamethasone-positive disqualification from the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. Judge Thomas Wingate of Franklin Circuit Court did, however, keep Baffert's 90-day suspension and $7,500 fine and Zedan's forfeiture of the Derby purse winnings from going into effect for two more weeks so that they...

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Sports Betting Bill Advances in Kentucky

House Bill 606, which would legalize sports betting in Kentucky, passed by a margin of 58 to 30 Friday in the Kentucky House and will now be sent to the Senate. The bill will also legalize fantasy sports and on-line poker. The revenue will be used to support the state pension fund. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger), a longtime supporter of sports betting in the Blue Grass State. Koening estimates that sports betting will generate at least $22.5 million in new state tax revenue each year....

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Weekly Rulings: Mar. 8-14

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky. Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where. CALIFORNIA Track: Santa Anita Date: 03/11/2022 Licensee: Donald Palmer, owner Penalty: Suspended license Violation: Failure to appear at hearing Explainer: Owner Donald Palmer (DBA: Live Your Dream Racing), having failed to respond to written notice to appear before the Board of Stewards...

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Baffert Stay Request Denied by KHRC

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) voted 10-0 Friday to deny stays of penalties while trainer Bob Baffert and owner Amr Zedan appeal their equine drug positive rulings related to Medina Spirit's disqualification from the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. One of Baffert's attorneys, W. Craig Robertson III, told TDN after the vote that the decision was "very disappointing." He added that "I have never seen the KHRC not grant a stay in the past. We will take the matter back up with the Franklin Circuit Court on Mar. 17." Robertson...

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Baffert Hearing Postponed in Franklin County

FRANKFORT, KY.--The hearing to appeal Bob Baffert's suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in Franklin County (Ky.) Circuit Court was delayed Wednesday morning and rescheduled until Mar. 17. The delay was put into place to allow the KHRC hearing on the same matter, scheduled for this Friday, Mar. 4, to be held in advance of the Franklin County hearing, as a successful outcome for Baffert with the KHRC Friday would have rendered Wednesday's hearing moot. Judge Thomas Wingate said he would issue his decision on Monday, Mar. 21, after...

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KHRC Denies Baffert a Stay of Suspension

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has denied trainer Bob Baffert's request for a stay of a 90-day suspension handed down to him earlier in the week for Medina Spirit (Protonico)'s betamethasone positive in the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby. The KHRC also denied a stay of its decision to disqualify Medina Spirit from first place in last year's GI Kentucky Derby. The Louisville Courier Journal and the Daily Racing Form were among the first to report the story. In most circumstances, once a trainer or owner has appealed a racing...

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Baffert, Horseplayers Spar Anew in Class-Action Derby Suit

Monday's ruling by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) that disqualified Medina Spirit from the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby has now triggered dueling letters to the federal judge overseeing the class-action case in which a group of bettors are suing trainer Bob Baffert for allegedly engaging in a years-long pattern of racketeering based on his purported "doping" of Thoroughbreds. The plaintiffs in the case, led by Michael Beychok, the winner of the 2012 National Horseplayers Championship, on Feb. 22 filed a letter in United States District Court (District of New...

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Equine Law Expert Bob Heleringer Talks Medina Spirit Ruling On Writers' Room

This week, 296 days after the race was run, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission ruled on the case of the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby, officially disqualifying winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) and elevating Mandaloun (Into Mischief) into first place. Additionally, the KHRC suspended trainer Bob Baffert for 90 days and Baffert's legal team quickly promised appeals to an administrative law judge. Bob Heleringer, a lawyer, law professor and the author of "Equine Regulatory Law", joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland Tuesday as the Green Group Guest of the Week...

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Weekly Stewards and Commissions Rulings: Feb. 15-21

Every week, the TDN publishes a roundup of key official rulings from the primary tracks within the four major racing jurisdictions of California, New York, Florida and Kentucky. Here's a primer on how each of these jurisdictions adjudicates different offenses, what they make public (or not) and where. California Track: Santa Anita Date: 02/18/2022 Licensee: Jonathan Wong, trainer Penalty: $500 fine Violation: Late declaration Explainer: Trainer Jonathan Wong, who was scheduled to start She Said Yes in the third race at Santa Anita Park on Feb. 13, 2022, is fined...

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