Writers' Room Tackles Medina Spirit News, Baffert, Ortiz Suspension

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Bob Baffert and Medina SpiritBenoit

It was a busy news week, headlined by the unfortunate sudden death of GI Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit (Protonico) and the 30-day suspension handed down to leading rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. Wednesday morning, Joe Bianca, Bill Finley and Jon Green of the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland discussed and reacted to all of it, rekindled the debate over whether trainer Bob Baffert is good for the sport, and welcomed the director of the upcoming film “Jockey” as the Green Group Guest of the Week.

“A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a story about two state legislators in New York looking to take all the slot money away from NYRA, and last year it was the governor of Pennsylvania,” Finley said. “Every time something like [Medina Spirit's death] happens, it makes their case stronger. And you know what? I bet you there are some politicians in California right now that are thinking, maybe it's time to introduce a bill to ban horse racing in the state. I think a lot of people don't think this will ever happen. It's not going to happen tomorrow or the next day, and it may not ever happen, but you have to be very scared of this. It is a realistic threat. Fifteen years ago, if I suggested that the circus would no longer exist, it would have been laughable to think about something like that.”

Elsewhere on the show, which is also sponsored by Coolmore, West Point Thoroughbreds, XBTV and Legacy Bloodstock, the hosts asked whether Ortiz will become a more careful rider after his suspension and the outcry that followed two incidents he was involved in over the weekend, and reacted to the news of the police arresting members of the Rossi family in France in an alleged doping and race-fixing conspiracy. Click here to watch the podcast; click here for the audio-only version or find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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