Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a drug test over the weekend and his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, is denying any wrongdoing — and blaming cancel culture.
Baffert went on Fox News Monday morning to talk about the test, which could threaten his horse’s Derby win and his own historic racing legacy.
“We live in a different world now,” he told Fox News. “This America is different, and it was like a cancel culture kind of a thing.”
The trainer referenced what he called a “harsh” statement from Churchill Downs, the site of the annual high-stakes race. But the statement is pretty anodyne, indicating merely that Baffert was indefinitely suspended from Churchill Downs races pending his appeal. Medina Spirit’s Derby win may also be erased if Baffert’s appeal is unsuccessful. (Baffert is now claiming the failed test may have something to do with dermatitis ointment.)
“Failure to comply with the rules and medication protocols threatens the safety of the horses and jockeys, the integrity of the sport and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby and all who participate,” the statement said. “Churchill Downs will not tolerate it.”
Such a statement isn’t surprising. Doping is a serious issue in any sport, including horse racing, and competitive bans and the erasure of records are common punishments for athletes caught cheating. Baffert has the right to appeal, but his claims of “cancellation” are gibberish. (Medina Spirit will be allowed to compete in the 146th Preakness Stakes on Saturday, with “rigorous” testing conditions.)
The good news for you, and us, is that we will not be reporting on anything Baffert until the second split sample result is in. We are fatigued by the whole farce. We bet you are too. In the meantime, why is it taking so damn long? This whole episode reeks, as all these Baffert episodes do.
Updated 12:40 pm EST
Featured image: Bob Baffert (Photo: WKYT)