Baffert’s suspension upheld by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

WLKY television reported the following on March 4, 2022:

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is upholding the suspension of famed horse trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert was suspended for 90 days after Kentucky stewards disqualified the 2021 Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit, who failed a post-race drug test.

The suspension was scheduled to start Tuesday, but a Franklin Circuit Court judge ordered the KHRC to first reconsider Baffert’s appeal for a stay.

The hearing happened at 10:30 a.m. and the commission denied the request to stay the suspension.

Baffert’s attorney, Clark Brewster, released a statement that says, in part:

“KHRC’s decision is a sudden, arbitrary departure from its own 100-year precedent and from the general practice of courts everywhere in the United States. Let’s be clear: This is part of a continuing coordinated attack against Bob by powerful forces that are rife with ethical and business conflicts and that want to keep Bob’s horses from competing against theirs at the track. We look forward to obtaining a stay in an impartial, unbiased court of law.”

Pictured: Medina Spirit, Pimlico Race Course, by Kenny Holston for The New York Times. In a statement shortly following the horse’s death, Baffert said Medina Spirit suffered a heart attack. Yet the three-year old colt’s necropsy report could not confirm cause of death. Medina Spirit was foaled on April 5, 2018.

Baffert’s suspension means he is “denied the privileges of all facilities under the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Entry of all horses owned or trained by Mr. Baffert is denied pending transfer to persons acceptable to the stewards.”

He was also fined $7,500. All purse money — $1.86 million, which went to the owner, trainer and others — must be forfeited and returned to the association.


We Say

This is not the last we will hear from Baffert on this, but the above is encouraging all the same.

“. . . continuing coordinated attack against Bob. . . .” Baffert attorney Clark Brewster should be ashamed to have uttered such words, but it is highly likely he is anything but.

Related Reading

Bob Baffert Attorney Clark Brewster Slams Medina Spirit Disqualification Ruling and Vows to Appeal; by Brewster & De Angelis, PLLC; PRNewswire, February 22, 2022.

Medina Spirit May Have Died of a Heart Attack, a Necropsy Finds, New York Times, by Joe Drape, February 11, 2022.

Featured Image: Medina Spirit at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore in May.Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times

Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

4 thoughts on “Baffert’s suspension upheld by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission”

  1. Re the picture of Medina Spirit. I don’t understand why he’s tethered like this…? If for whatever reason he went down, likely he would suffer injury.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is horse racing. It makes us shudder how the horses are treated. Owners, trainers and staff can do whatever they want and who can stop them. That is why it needs to end. All of it. It is horrific from beginning to end for horses, a runaway train of suffering, cruelty and death. For those who think this comment is way over the top see Horse Racing Wrongs.


  2. It appears that the KHRC’s departure from its 100 year precedent was necessary in the case of this particular racehorse trainer. Hence a new precedent has been created and this is good.


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