Flurry of Legal Filings, Familiar Arguments in Baffert vs. NYRA Case

Both plaintiff Bob Baffert and defendant the New York Racing Association (NYRA) traded volleys of legal filings that were posted electronically just before 6 p.m. Tuesday. They all relate to Baffert's ongoing quest to fight NYRA's attempts to either banish him outright or to give him a hearing that would adjudicate the "detrimental conduct" charges NYRA has levied against Baffert over the repeated equine drug positives in his trainees. NYRA on Oct. 12 filed a memorandum of law in support of its earlier motion to dismiss Counts I, III, IV...

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Live Racing at Belmont Park Extended Through Nov. 7

The Belmont fall meet, originally scheduled to conclude Oct. 31, will be extended to include three additional dates from Friday, Nov. 5 through Sunday, Nov. 7, it was announced Saturday. These dates were originally scheduled to be run at Aqueduct Racetrack as opening weekend of the Aqueduct fall meet. New York State is continuing to operate a COVID-19 mass vaccination site throughout the first floor of Aqueduct. As a result, the facility remains closed to the public. "NYRA is committed to supporting the ongoing effort to vaccinate New York, and...

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Judge Dismisses Baffert Contempt Claim Against NYRA

BROOKLYN, NY--Judge Carol Bagley Amon dismissed Bob Baffert's charge of contempt against the New York Racing Association Tuesday morning in federal court, saying that her previous injunction of NYRA's attempted suspension of Baffert in May applied only to enforcing that suspension, and not the issue at hand of NYRA scheduling a hearing and issuing official charges against Baffert in a Sept. 10 statement. The ruling clears the way for NYRA to proceed with its proposed hearing process, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 11 and may result in Baffert once...

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Annual Belmont Stair Climb Tribute to 9/11 Firefighters Set to Return Oct. 17

After a year lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDNY Stair Climb returns to Belmont Park on Sunday, October 17. This year's 7th annual event is part of the nationwide 9/11 stair climb program that pays tribute to the FDNY firefighters who died more than 20 years ago on 9/11. The climb benefits the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), which supports the families of fallen firefighters and the FDNY Counseling Service Unit. "Twenty years later, I still remember what trauma looked like etched on the faces of firefighters at the...

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Baffert Again Argues That NYRA Can't Proceed With Efforts to Suspend Him

The matter of whether or not the New York Racing Association should be held in contempt and whether it can go ahead with a hearing that could lead to the suspension of Bob Baffert landed once again Friday on the desk of Judge Carol Bagley Amon. The latest twist in the Baffert-NYRA saga began last week when Baffert's attorneys charged that NYRA should be held in contempt because of its announced plans to afford Baffert a hearing. The two sides have been at odds over the interpretation of a July...

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NYRA to Court: A Hearing Was 'Exactly' What Baffert Had Argued For

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) told a federal judge Wednesday that it shouldn't face "contempt of court" allegations initiated last week by trainer Bob Baffert because NYRA has been fully compliant with a July court order that--by NYRA's interpretation--should allow its scheduled hearing on Baffert's exclusion from its tracks to proceed. NYRA is already defending itself in a federal lawsuit initiated by the Hall of Fame trainer with the well-publicized history of equine drug positives over whether or not NYRA violated Baffert's constitutional rights by trying to ban him...

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NYRA Slams Baffert's 'Premature' Claim for 'Disproportionately High' Legal Fees

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) fired back in court Monday against Bob Baffert's attempt to collect $162,086 in legal fees and expenses from NYRA that have resulted from the Hall of Fame trainer's lawsuit against NYRA. Calling his request "premature" while claiming that the $450 to $975 hourly fees charged by his lawyers are "disproportionately high," NYRA also alleged that Baffert is attempting to twist a legal provision "intended to incentivize attorneys to represent individual civil rights plaintiffs that might otherwise be unrepresented" to his own financial benefit when...

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Baffert-NYRA Arguments Scheduled for Oct. 5

Arguments on the motion by Bob Baffert's attorneys to hold the New York Racing Association in contempt of court for organizing hearings to suspend him will be heard in the United States District Court Oct. 5, according to a document filed by Judge Carol Bagley Amon. On July 14, Bagley Amon granted Baffert a preliminary injunction against NYRA that will allow him to race at New York's three major tracks, after they suspended him in May, pending the resolution of the case. "Defendant NYRA is directed to respond by 9/29/21,"...

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Baffert Alleges NYRA Violating Court Order in 'Sham Hearing' Attempt

Trainer Bob Baffert filed a motion Wednesday asking a federal judge to hold the New York Racing Association (NYRA) in civil contempt for trying to schedule a hearing under its newly created exclusionary procedures that could once again bar him from participating at NYRA's tracks. The basis for the contempt allegation is NYRA's "failure to comply with the terms of the Court's July 14, 2021, Memorandum & Order enjoining it from enforcing its unlawful suspension of Baffert from New York racetracks." According to a Sept. 22 filing by Baffert's legal...

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Transfer of Claimed Horse in NY Results in Penalties for Potts, Chichakly

The claim and subsequent transfer of a horse within the prohibited 30-day time frame mandated by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has resulted in a 30-day suspension and $2,000 fine for trainer Wayne Potts and a $2,000 fine without suspension for trainer Amira Chichakly. DRF.com's Dave Grening first reported the story Monday. His story quoted Potts as explaining that he had ownership clients wanting to claim a horse out of the second race at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 4, but that Potts told them he couldn't because he...

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NYRA Track Announcer John Imbriale Tests Positive for COVID-19

NYRA track announcer John Imbriale received a positive COVID-19 test result after experiencing mild symptoms following the conclusion of the Saratoga meeting, according to NYRA's Senior Director of Communications Patrick McKenna. "As a result of the mandatory 10-day isolation period, Imbriale will miss the opening weekend of the fall meet and is scheduled to return Thursday, Sept. 23," McKenna said. "In his absence, Frank Mirahmadi will handle the race calling duties Thursday, Sept. 16. Chris Griffin, who was named the lead race caller at Parx in March, will call Friday-Sunday....

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NYRA Schedules Hearings, Issues Charges, for Baffert, Vitali

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) has issued charges and scheduled hearings for trainers Bob Baffert and Marcus Vitali, NYRA announced Friday morning. "NYRA contends that Mr. Baffert and Mr. Vitali have engaged in conduct that is detrimental to the best interests of the sport of Thoroughbred racing or potentially injurious to the health or safety of horses or riders," they said in a press release. "Further, as detailed in the respective statements of charges, this conduct warrants revocation or suspension of their right to train horses, enter races,...

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