Medina Spirit

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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Triple Crown Heavy Hitters Reconvene in Haskell

The runners-up in all three Triple Crown races—though one of them may be promoted to winner at a later date—will clash along with a very intriguing stretch-out sprinter Saturday at Monmouth in a quality renewal of the GI TVG.com Haskell S., a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. Pegged as the 6-5 morning-line favorite is Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), who ran the best race of the three Triple Crown returnees when finishing a hard-luck second to division leader Essential Quality (Tapit) in the GI...

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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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Judge Delays Ruling in Baffert-NYRA Case

BROOKLYN--After an-hour-and-forty minute hearing Monday in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in which lawyers representing Bob Baffert argued for a preliminary injunction that would allow the trainer to once again race at the New York Racing Association tracks, Judge Carol Bagley Amon did not render a decision and did not give a time frame for doing so. The hearing came on the heels of a May 17 announcement from NYRA in which the racing organization said Baffert had been temporarily suspended, which meant...

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The Week in Review: What the Larry Saumell Case Might Mean for Baffert

It was another week when the Bob Baffert-NYRA saga again dominated the headlines, with both sides killing a lot of trees with their voluminous and seemingly never ending legal filings. At times it was mind numbing, and the laymen among us are having a hard time discerning what is important, what is not, whether or not there are any precedents to consider and which side appears to be winning a fight that grows more acrimonious by the day. After Medina Spirit (Protonico) tested positive for betamethasone in the GI Kentucky...

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Baffert Alleges 'Hypocrisy' & 'Backdoor Tactics' Behind NYRA Ban

Alleging "hypocrisy" and "backdoor" tactics on the part of defendant New York Racing Association (NYRA) to "vindictively target" Bob Baffert, attorneys for the seven-time GI Kentucky Derby winning trainer supplied a federal judge with a 434-page "memo" Wednesday in support of trying to get the court to overturn a NYRA-imposed ban on Baffert. NYRA's exclusion of Baffert from Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack was mandated May 17 by the association because of the Hall of Fame trainer's repeated equine medication violations in other jurisdictions. The voluminous electronic...

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Judge Tells NYRA No Pre-Motion Conference Before Monday Hearing Date

The federal judge in charge of the Bob Baffert vs. the New York Racing Association (NYRA) case told lawyers for NYRA that she would not schedule a last-minute conference the defendant's counsel had requested to discuss a planned "motion to dismiss" filing. Instead, in a swift and terse reply written shortly after NYRA's July 6 filing, Judge Carol Bagley Amon entered an order in United States District Court (Eastern District of New York) that stated, "Defendant has filed a request for a pre-motion conference. The request shall be taken up...

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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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With Spa Meet in the Balance, NYRA Argues for Upholding Baffert Ban

With a July 12 federal court date looming to decide whether or not Bob Baffert's history of equine drug positives will keep him from entering horses at the upcoming and financially lucrative Saratoga Race Course meet, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) on June 30 filed a memorandum of law that opposes the Hall of Fame trainer's request for an injunction to lift the association's ban against him that has been in effect for the past six weeks. NYRA told Baffert via letter May 17 that he was temporarily not...

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Jockey Club to Court: Baffert Alone Bears Responsibility for Banishments

The Jockey Club (TJC) on Wednesday told the judge in Bob Baffert's federal lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that in deciding whether or not to lift the trainer's banishment from Saratoga, Belmont Park and Aqueduct, it is imperative to consider the larger issue that tracks should be entitled to bar anyone "credibly responsible for the administration of medication resulting in a substance violation" in order to "protect the health and safety of the sport's participants." Using a "friend of the court" brief, which is a legal document...

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