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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California to Honor Either Suspension or Stay of KY Baffert Ruling

As had been anticipated, the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) will honor the 90-day suspension meted down to trainer Bob Baffert by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) if the trainer's legal efforts to block the suspension aren't successful in the interim, confirmed a CHRB spokesperson Saturday morning. Likewise, the CHRB will reciprocate any stay on the KHRC's ruling "if granted by a court," the spokesperson confirmed in an email. Earlier this month, the KHRC handed Baffert a 90-day suspension and a $7,500 fine after Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive...

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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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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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Letter to the Editor: Concerns About HISA

Dan Ross's article from Sunday, February 20 highlighting the many unanswered questions regarding provisions of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) should concern anyone who cares about American racing. For an entity which many are expecting to be vitally important to the future of the sport, it has left much to be desired in the way of its public communications. Just shy of four months from launch, the lack of answers to a major industry publication should concern anyone involved in, or subject to, the new organization. Transparency is...

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KHRC Mum on Medina Spirit, Vows Future Transparency

Against the backdrop of the 2021 GI Kentucky Derby drug positive investigation dragging past the nine-month mark and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) maintaining a conspicuous silence throughout the drawn-out process, KHRC chairman Jonathan Rabinowitz obliquely referred to the scandal for the first time at an open, public meeting Tuesday. Although Rabinowitz did not specifically mention Medina Spirit's betamethasone overage or trainer Bob Baffert's long-delayed stewards' hearing that was finally conducted Feb. 14, that controversy was almost certainly the catalyst for the chairman stating that the KHRC is seeking...

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Baffert Attacks 'Tinfoil Conspiratorial Premise' of Class-Action Suit

Trainer Bob Baffert told a federal judge Wednesday that a group of bettors who are suing him in a class-action lawsuit alleging a years-long pattern of racketeering based on his purported "doping" of Thoroughbreds have twisted their case so far from reality that their alleged misstatements amount to libel. In a Jan. 12 filing in United States District Court (District of New Jersey), Baffert stated that the plaintiffs' recent attempt to portray him as the "Lance Armstrong of the horse racing world" is a "desperate conglomeration of highly inflammatory statements...designed...

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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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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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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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Under Glare of Probing Questions, Curious Answers in Kentucky

The Week in Review by T.D. Thornton In theory, state racing commissions are supposed to provide a layer of checks and balances by making both racetrack operators and horsemen accountable for their actions. In practice though, that often doesn't happen because regulators in many jurisdictions fail to ask probing questions of licensees during open, public meetings. In Kentucky, for example, if you want the most concise on-the-record snapshot of what's going on with the circuit, the best source generally isn't a Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) meeting. Instead, the proceedings...

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