Hearing officer recommends 2 yr NYRA ban for Baffert

Hearing officer O. Peter Sherwood recommended April 27 that trainer Bob Baffert receive a two-year suspension from the New York Racing Association for repeated medication violations involving his horses in other jurisdictions.

The suspension—which would apply only to NYRA’s three racetracks, Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course—must still be approved by a three-person NYRA panel.

If approved, it would go into effect following the July 2 end of the 90-day suspension Baffert is serving from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission following the failed post-race drug tests and the disqualification of Medina Spirit from victory in the 2021 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs.

Read more at Bloodhorse.com » »

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Medina Spirit, pictured working out at Churchill Downs before running in the Kentucky Derby, died Monday Dec. 6, 2021 during a workout at Santa Anita. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Medina Spirit reportedly died after a Dec. 6, 2020 workout in California’s Santa Anita Park. In a statement shortly following the horse’s death, trainer Bob Baffert said Medina Spirit suffered a heart attack.

CBS Sports reported that the horse’s necropsy found no definitive cause of death. But . . . .

Degenerative joint disease was seen in Medina Spirit’s fetlock and elbow joints, the California Horse Racing Board reported. The microscopic changes in various tissues were mild and did not suggest a specific cause of death, the CHRB noted. Swollen lungs and foam in the windpipe, an enlarged spleen, and congestion and mild hemorrhages in other tissues seen on the postmortem examination are common in horses dying suddenly, and are compatible with, but not specific for a cardiac cause of death, the CHRB added.

Just two years after being acquired at auction for $1,000, Medina Spirit “is most likely now worth more than $50 million” following the horse’s Kentucky Derby victory, writes Joseph Pompliano of HuddleUp.


Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

2 thoughts on “Hearing officer recommends 2 yr NYRA ban for Baffert”

  1. A two year ban is laughable.
    A ban for life is most appropriate.
    Let’s not forget the cruelty of drugging which involves the experimenting and messing with these poor horses’ bodies and minds. And some end up dying as Medina Spirit did and Arrogate’s death is highly questionable. And of course the others that were/are not publicised…the dirty secrecy.


    1. As you probably already know, he will train and race horses under other trainers’ names. If memory serves me correctly, he has already done it. Sorry I can’t remember the source at the moment. It was either The Bloodhorse or the Paulick Report.

      Horseracing is cruel and corrupt and a killer of horses. IT needs to die.


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