The dark side of Bob Baffert’s reign

Open quote

“No horse loving person like Bob or his entire team accepts the reality of a horse death with anything other than sadness and despair,” the lawyers said in their statement. “In each instance, the death is investigated. Every investigation over the past 20 years has reached the same conclusion: no rules or regulations have been violated nor has there been any improper activity on Bob’s part.”

The writers Gus Garcia-Roberts & Steven Rich expose the gross falsities contained in the above quote in their myth busting report, “The Dark Side of Bob Baffert’s Reign,” The Washington Post, 18 June 2021.


‘LOS ANGELES — In March 2020, horse racing’s most recognizable figure, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, declared that his sport was “in crisis.” Federal prosecutors had just indicted more than two dozen trainers, veterinarians and others on charges related to doping horses, a seismic event in a sport already reeling from a well-publicized spate of horse deaths and perpetually dwindling revenue.

‘In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Baffert wrote that reforming racing was not just necessary to the sport’s survival but the only moral path forward. “Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our equine and human athletes,” Baffert wrote, “and nothing impacts their health and safety more than the policies and procedures concerning drugs.”

‘The bold statement appeared to put Baffert on the right side of history: By the end of the year, President Donald Trump had signed into law the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which promised to reform the sport. But the star trainer’s sudden support belied the fact that Baffert has for years been entangled with the very problems he blamed for his sport’s potential demise: drugs, dead horses and a feckless regulatory system.

‘At least 74 horses have died in Baffert’s care in his home state of California since 2000, more than all but two of hundreds of trainers in the state, according to a Post analysis of data and public records. But when factoring in the number of races run, Baffert’s horses have died at the highest rate of the 10 trainers who have had the most horse deaths.’

Download full report »

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Featured Image: Bob Baffert. Not Cited at Source.

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