KENTUCKY (WEHT) – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted 10-0 on Friday to uphold the suspension of Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert.
The two-year suspension from all Churchill Downs racetracks comes after Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test. Medina Spirit was also stripped of its 2021 Kentucky Derby win. Medina Spirit collapsed and died in December of 2021.
Executive Director at Animal Wellness Action Marty Irby released a statement after the vote praising the KHRC for upholding the suspension.
“Bob Baffert is the Lance Armstrong of horse racing and has riddled the sport with scandal after scandal unchecked for years,” said Irby. “We applaud the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for upholding Baffert’s suspension and believe making an example of America’s most embattled serial violator can be a key turning point for U.S. horse racing.
One of Bob Baffert’s lawyers reached out to Eyewitness News to give the following statement:
KHRC’s decision is a sudden, arbitrary departure from its own 100-year precedent and from the general practice of courts everywhere in the United States. Let’s be clear: This is part of a continuing coordinated attack against Bob by powerful forces that are rife with ethical and business conflicts and that want to keep Bob’s horses from competing against theirs at the track. We look forward to obtaining a stay in an impartial, unbiased court of law.
Let’s also remember that the facts and law in the overall case are on Bob’s side. Fact: Kentucky regulates only the injectable form of betamethasone acetate, and not the topical betamethasone valerate. Fact: Medina Spirit was treated with an ointment, not an injection. And fact: the amount detected could not have impacted the horse’s performance or the outcome of the Kentucky Derby.”Clark Brewster, Attorney for Bob Baffert