Trainer Bob Baffert and Justify. Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images.

CHRB agree to investigate Justify scopolamine issue to settle lawsuit

Mick Ruis announced on July 24, 2020, that he has reached an agreement in principle with the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) 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 Santa Anita Derby in which the first place finisher, Justify, tested positive for the prohibited substance scopolamine. Members of the CHRB, the state agency charged with regulation of California horse racing, voted in favor of settlement at a recent closed session. Attorneys for the respective parties are finalizing the exact terms of the agreement and expect it to be completed in the coming days.

The agreement would include a provision that the CHRB will file a complaint against the owners of Justify and conduct a purse disqualification hearing. The detection of the prohibited substance scopolamine in the official test collected from Justify following the running of the 2018 Santa Anita Derby was confirmed by a split sample test requested by Justify’s connections. CHRB rule 1859.5 requires forfeiture of purse and disqualification of a horse that tests positive for a Class 1 – 3 prohibited substance regardless of the trainer’s responsibility.

“I am pleased that the leadership of this newly constituted CHRB appointed by Governor Newsom has taken seriously the Governor’s intention to ‘hold the group accountable on matters of drugs, safety, and integrity.’ It is only fair that the current CHRB voted to finally have a hearing related to the Justify matter. This settlement would be a major step toward restoring public confidence in the CHRB,” said Mick Ruis, the owner of Bolt d’Oro, who finished second in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby.

The prior CHRB swept the Justify matter under the rug by dismissing the matter in a closed session in August of 2018 where it remained until Joe Drape uncovered the scandal in an article published in the New York Times in September of 2019.

Read more at The Paulick Report »

We Say

We doubt Mr. Baffert is worried. They don’t call him Teflon Bob for nothing. It will be interesting to see what shenanigans they all get up to.

Related Reading

Bob Baffert, Justify and the Chemical Triple Crown, Tuesday’s Horse, Sept. 12, 2019

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Featured Image: Trainer Bob Baffert and Justify. Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images.

2 thoughts on “CHRB agree to investigate Justify scopolamine issue to settle lawsuit”

  1. Ruis claims it will restore public confidence in the CHRB. What a joke.
    Justify should never have qualified for the Kentucky Derby in the first place place. Things were put in place so that Justify was in the running for the Triple Crown which he went on to win. Mission accomplished.

    The issue of the prizemoney for the Santa Anita Derby is a distraction from the real crime committed here and that’s the drug abuse of an innocent horse purely to win.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Baffert is going down at last, perhaps… maybe. The Washington Post in particular are bearing down on him and exposing what Baffert and his cohorts, or partners in crime, have been doing with and to racehorses, especially Justify. Check this out!

      If you hit a paywall go here. . We have three free days’ permission!

      Liked by 2 people

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