Jockey Club weighs in on Baffert vs NYRA

Attorney Susan Phillips Read has filed a request on behalf of The Jockey Club to provide an amicus brief in the civil lawsuit filed by trainer Bob Baffert against the New York Racing Association, reports An amicus brief is provided by a person or entity who is not a party to a case who assists a court by offering information, expertise, or insight that has a bearing on the issues in the case.

The brief would provide Judge Carol Bagley Amon in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York “a unique perspective on issues involved in this litigation” and “supply information that should be helpful to the court and its decision-making.”

Following the announcement that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, and considering a spate of recent positive tests from Baffert’s barn, the New York Racing Association announced a ban of trainer Bob Baffert from racing or stabling at any of its tracks. Baffert and his lawyer responded by filing a civil suit claiming NYRA does not have the legal authority for a suspension.

Read told BloodHorse that The Jockey Club’s brief will stand in opposition to Baffert’s efforts to be granted a temporary injunction to lift the NYRA ban.

“TJC has long believed that horses must only race when they are free from the effects of medication, and vociferously advocated for the passage of The Horseracing Safety and Integrity Act,” Read wrote in the official request to provide an amicus brief. “TJC thus has a special interest in sharing with the Court its perspective regarding the deleterious effects of improper drug use on the health of horses, the Thoroughbred racing industry, and public trust in the honesty of competition.”

“Further, TJC, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries and Thoroughbred Safety Committee, has access to information not necessarily available to the parties,” Read added.

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