The hearing for Bob Baffert’s civil suit against the New York Racing Association was adjourned July 12 without Judge Carol Bagley Amon rendering a verdict in the Hall of Fame trainer’s bid to overturn NYRA’s temporary suspension that is blocking him from entering and racing horses at its three racetracks.
Judge Amon said she will take the testimony from attorneys on both sides of the lawsuit under advisement and issue a ruling later at an unspecified date. The hearing was held at the U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York courthouse in Brooklyn, N.Y.
In proceedings that lasted for about 90 minutes and with Baffert sitting alongside his attorneys in the Brooklyn courtroom, Amon heard testimony from W. Craig Robertson III representing Baffert and Henry Greenberg representing NYRA.
Robertson based much of his arguments on NYRA’s failure to provide the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer with due process through a hearing before its May 17 announcement of a temporary suspension blocking Baffert from entering and racing horses at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, and Aqueduct Racetrack, and the irreparable harm the suspension has caused Baffert.
Henry Greenberg representing the NYRA downplayed the impact, saying Baffert averages just five starters a year in New York and that 97% of his horses start in other states.
“NYRA has millions of fans it had to show that it cared,” he said. “It is unconscionable the harm that was done to racing when (Baffert) smeared the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks and had five violations in the space of a year. Racing has the right to protect itself.”
Source: The BloodHorse, 12 July 2021
Then there is this take:
A New York judge was sympathetic today to horse trainer Bob Baffert’s claims that his May suspension by the New York Racing Association — after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test — was unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon at a Brooklyn hearing repeatedly pressed a lawyer for the racing association to explain why the suspension was issued before Baffert was given a chance to defend himself.”
Henry Greenberg, arguing on behalf of the racing association, said Baffert will get a hearing after the association announces the length of his suspension by Aug. 11.
Source: Associated Press, 12 July 2021
There was also this earlier Baffert tactic in his NYRA lawsuit:
According to the Thoroughbred Daily News, Judge Carol Bagley Amon ordered attorneys for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to divulge specific names relating to his claim in a July 7 affidavit stating: “I have recently had conversations with other owners who have stated that they may move their horses to other trainers if the New York suspension continues.”
A one-page letter filed on Friday revealed five names: “Gavin Murphy of SF Bloodstock; Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing; Peter Fluor of Speedway Stable; Sol Kumin of Madaket Stables; and George Bolton.”
Baffert has trained some of his biggest winners including Triple Crown winner Justify for the above owners. So they will pretend they are getting ready to walk out on him. Yawn.
Source: Paulick Report, 9 July 2021
How about that for some family finagling? Enter the present Mrs Baffert.
A 3-year-old colt co-owned by the wife of embattled trainer Bob Baffert ran under the name of another Hall of Fame trainer on Saturday, when [he] finished fourth in the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational at Belmont Park, New York, and where Baffert has been suspended and suing to regain access.
Du Jour ran in the name of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott for the 1¼-mile turf race. The colt is co-owned by Jill Baffert and Debbie Lanni, a friend of the Bafferts. The fourth-place finish was worth $65,000.
Baffert was the trainer of record for Du Jour’s last start, a victory in the $500,000 American Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 1. It was the same day Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby, giving Baffert his record seventh win in the race.
Source: ESPN via AP, 10 July 2021
And the beat goes on.
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