Thoroughbred racehorse cheater and doper, trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert hearing update in Medina Spirit doping case

We have been covering the Hearing from the beginning. We are weary of it. But, since we started, we must finish. Horse Racing Nation has the best coverage, and we only quote from the best. They write:

Trainer Bob Baffert was expected back on the stand as soon as Monday, the fifth day of his Frankfort, Ky., hearing to appeal penalties from Medina Spirit’s failed drug test after the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

Attorney Clark Brewster confirmed Sunday that Baffert would testify to try to make his case that he should not have been suspended 90 days and fined $7,500 by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and that Medina Spirit should not have been disqualified as last year’s Derby winner.

The attorneys called three witnesses to the stand to lend support to the claim that a finding of the regulated corticosteroid betamethasone in the post-Derby urine sample of Baffert’s Medina Spirit should have been treated as a non-violation, given testing that they say confirmed that the drug came from a benign skin ointment, and not an injection of the corticosteroid.

Medina Spirit was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who finished 1st in the 2021 Kentucky Derby before being disqualified. He came 2nd in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic, and 3rd in the 2021 Preakness Stakes.
Foaled: April 5, 2018 | Died: December 6, 2021

The KHRC was expected to rest its case Monday morning before Baffert’s side made its case, starting either with more racing officials, veterinary scientists or the star witness himself.

If the KHRC does not change its stance, Baffert would have the option to go back to court, first at the circuit level in Franklin County, just a half-mile from the building where the current hearing has been held.


Noteworthy point

KHRC general counsel Jennifer Wolsing noted that despite Dr. Steven Barker’s position that the confirmed amount of the concentration of betamethasone of 25 pg/ml detected in Medina Spirit was not enough to have a pharmacological effect, when Baffert’s champion Gamine tested positive with 27 pg/ml of betamethasone following the 2020 Longines Kentucky Oaks, no such defense was made.

Bull’s eye.

We will leave it there, and give you a wrap up when the case is said and done. If we are bored by it, you probably are too.

Just in case you want to read more, “Bob Baffert no stranger to failed drugs tests by his horses“, published by the Associated Press, is a good ‘un.

Reporting on Baffert’s current doping drama and related hearing AP writes, “No matter the outcome — which could take weeks to resolve — the episode marks the fifth such controversy for Baffert in just over a year. The list of failed tests go back even longer, with the New York Times reporting last fall that Baffert has been cited in 29 instances spanning more than four decades.”

More than four decades of “cited” instances. The four decades is certainly believable. Only 29 “cited” though? Can you imagine the mindboggling number it would be if he was always caught?

In the meantime, The Blood-Horse magazine published a related article, “Baffert legal team builds case against disqualification.” Just in case you want more to read.

The crux of the matter throughout it all seems to be this — was Medina Spirit was treated with ointment and not injected.

Post updated 2:28 pm EST.

Featured Image: Louisville Courier-Journal, 2019.

Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

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