New CHRB Transparency Issues Arise in McAnally CBD Investigation

Oscar Gonzales, the vice chair of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), wants to know why commissioners weren't informed earlier this year about a pending cannabidiol (CBD) positive complaint against Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, a case that was in the midst of a six-month investigation by CHRB staff even as commissioners were being asked to approve a seemingly routine annual reclassification of drugs that included CBD. "On that list of drugs that were to be reclassified was CBD, the drug that was detected in [the McAnally-trained Roses and...

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Charlatan, Gamine DQs Overturned

The disqualifications of Charlatan (Speightstown) and Gamine (Into Mischief) from May 2, 2020 wins at Oaklawn Park have been overturned, and Bob Baffert's 15-day suspension has been waived after a two-day hearing in front of the Arkansas Racing Commission. Charlatan was the winner of the GI Arkansas Derby, while Gamine won an allowance race the same day. Oaklawn announced lidocaine positives for the pair, disqualified them from the victories, and redistributed purse money last year. Tuesday, at the conclusion of the hearing, Baffert's attorney, W. Craig Robertson, said, "The ruling...

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CHRB Votes to Let Justify's Santa Anita Derby Win Stand

The California Horse Racing Board issued a statement Friday announcing that the stewards' decision to leave Justify (Scat Daddy) the winner of the 2018 GI Santa Anita Derby will stand. The colt tested positive for Scopolamine after finishing first in the race, and went on to sweep the American Triple Crown following his Santa Anita Derby score. A CHRB release issued Friday stated: "After a hearing on Oct. 29, 2020, the Board of Stewards at Santa Anita Park racetrack issued a Statement of Decision Dec. 9 to dismiss complaints filed...

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Baffert's Lawyer: Drape's `False' Story `Debunked'

Bob Baffert's attorney issued a statement Tuesday saying that New York Times reporter Joe Drape's reporting in 2019 on Justify's scopolamine positive was a "false story and narrative" which "were definitively debunked" in last week's California Horse Racing Board hearing on the matter. The statement from attorney W. Craig Robertson III reads, in full: "On September 11, 2019, Joe Drape of the New York Times published an article concerning trainer Bob Baffert and Triple Crown-winning horse Justify. The article strongly and inaccurately suggested that Mr. Baffert had intentionally doped Justify...

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Justify, Hoppertunity Case Will Be Heard Before Stewards

The connections of Justify and Hoppertunity were unsuccessful in their attempt to obtain a temporary restraining order to stop the California Board of Stewards from holding a hearing regarding the disqualifications of those horses due to scopolamine positives in 2018, and the hearing will go forward as planned, according to a press release from Darrell Vienna, the attorney representing Mick Ruis. Trainer Bob Baffert, and the owners and two jockeys who rode the undefeated 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify and the MGISW Hoppertunity, had filed a legal petition against the...

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Justify, Hoppertunity Connections Seek Court Block of CHRB Scopolamine Re-Hearings

Trainer Bob Baffert, plus the owners and two jockeys who rode the undefeated 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify and the MGISW Hoppertunity, filed a legal petition against the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) Oct. 13, alleging that the CHRB's recent decision to reopen hearings on two scopolamine positives from those horses in 2018 amounts to "arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful conduct" that purportedly targets Baffert and his clients unfairly while supposedly damaging the horses' reputations as stallions. The petition, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks a judgment, injunction,...

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CHRB Votes to Settle Justify Santa Anita Derby Case

Mick Ruis has announced that he has reached an agreement in principle with the California Horse Racing Board regarding a settlement of pending litigation in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The preliminary agreement is intended to resolve claims against the CHRB for failure to hold a purse disqualification hearing related to the 2018 GI Santa Anita Derby, in which the first-place finisher and subsequent Triple Crown winner, Justify, tested positive for the prohibited substance scopolamine. Bolt d'Oro, owned and trained by Ruis, finished second. Members of the CHRB, the state...

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