W. Craig Robertson III

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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Master of Excuses or Victim of Vendetta? Caustic Baffert/NYRA Hearing Closes

Bob Baffert's five-day hearing on "detrimental conduct" charges levied by the New York Racing Association (NYRA) closed Friday with NYRA's attorney arguing that the Hall-of-Fame trainer has trashed the sport with such an unprecedented litany of medication violations that NYRA needs to be allowed to punish him, while Baffert's lawyer countered that the real extraordinary aspect of the case involves vendetta-based accusations that could result in draconian sanctions NYRA has never before attempted to impose upon any other trainer. "Bob Baffert is not a cheater," the trainer's attorney, W. Craig...

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'Social Licensing' The Day Two Focal Point of Baffert/NYRA Hearing

The concept of perception versus reality has been a core plank on both sides of the highly publicized "detrimental conduct" case ever since the New York Racing Association (NYRA) first tried to banish trainer Bob Baffert eight months ago. On Tuesday, the second day of a hearing process that could lead to Baffert's exclusion from New York's premier tracks, the murky interpretation of who should be considered the true victim and which entity is in need of protection from harm rose to the forefront in the form of arguments over...

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Judge Dismisses Baffert's Lawsuit Against NYRA

A federal judge on Friday dismissed Bob Baffert's lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that had alleged the Hall of Fame trainer was injured by NYRA's initial attempt to bar him back in May and again in September when it summoned him to a hearing to adjudicate his "detrimental" conduct related to repeated equine drug positives. Chief among the reasons that United States District Court (Eastern District of New York) Carol Bagley Amon dismissed the amended complaint were that some of Baffert's claims were not yet "ripe" for...

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Medina Spirit Team Claims Proof Derby Drug Overage Came from Ointment

The legal teams for the trainer and owner of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) jointly issued statements after 6:00 p.m. Friday stating that long-awaited split-sample testing has finally been completed on the colt's urine that "definitively confirmed" and has "scientifically proven" that the type of betamethasone that showed up in his post-race positive test is the type that comes from a topical ointment and not via an intra-articular injection. The distinction is important to trainer Bob Baffert and owner Zedan Racing Stables (Amr Zedan) because they believe the...

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Baffert Seeks $162K in Legal Fees from NYRA

Even though trainer Bob Baffert has secured only a preliminary injunction in his ongoing lawsuit against the New York Racing Association (NYRA) that allows him to race at New York's three major tracks pending the final resolution of the case, his attorneys filed a motion in federal court Aug. 25 seeking $162,086 in legal fees and expenses from NYRA based on the claim that Baffert is due that money as the "prevailing party." The three attorneys Baffert engaged for work on this case have billed him at rates between $450...

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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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