Baffert’s KHRC Appeal Day 5

Zedan and Hall of Fame trainer are final witnesses

August 30, 2022

Testimony in Bob Baffert’s hearing before the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission concluded Tuesday with the examination of the final three witnesses which included Baffert and Medina Spirit owner Amr Zedan. Additionally, Tom Lomangino, who testified on Monday, also returned to the stand.

After the examinations, which took place via Zoom, lawyers for both sides presented their closing arguments. 

At issue is Baffert’s attempt to expunge the 90-day suspension he served in Kentucky from his record and restore Medina Spirit as the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby. On the other side, the KHRC argued that the betamethasone overage in Medina Spirit’s drug test was a straightforward violation of Kentucky rules and the disciplines should stand.

Lomangino was originally called by Baffert’s attorneys on Monday. He worked as a chemist who performed equine testing in New York, Maryland and Kentucky before retiring six years ago. During Monday’s testimony he criticized both tests on Medina Spirit’s samples, the first one by Industrial Laboratories of Colorado and the second one by University of California, Davis. Lomangino had a medical appointment Monday afternoon for which he had to leave early, meaning he returned to the stand Tuesday morning to complete his examination.

The cross-examination by KHRC lead attorney Jennifer Wolsing focused on the testing methodology and the documentation of testing methodology. Wolsing highlighted sections of an international standard for managing testing laboratories during questioning.

Lomangino stated he believed Industrial Laboratories did not comply with those standards. Wolsing pinned him to saying that he did not disagree with previous testimony that Industrial’s methods used in 2021 were validated in 2019 and that he had no reason to believe their 2021 methods did not work.

Lomangino stated that one provision which requires use of the “latest valid version of a method unless it is not appropriate or possible to do so,” was “circumvented, more or less.”

The latter portion of Lomangino’s cross-examination focused on the methodology of the test.

“They used a method called Dex Beta. I want to see how they aligned it with Beta rather than Dex,” Lomangino said. “If you even look at this page, the internal standard was Dex . . . yet they’re trying to confirm betamethasone.”

However, when shown the Standard Preparation Form from Industrial’s test results, Lomangino did confirm that it stated a method called “Betamethasone in Methanol” was used.

Trainer Bob Baffert celebrates Medina Spirit’s win with jockey John Velasquez and owner Amr Zedan. By Erick Rasco/Sports Illustrated.

Zedan testified next. He did so from Jordan, mentioning during testimony that it is where his family is based; Zedan is married to Princess Noor bin Assam, a member of the Jordanian royal family.

Much of Zedan’s testimony focused on his relationship with Baffert. Zedan entered horse racing in 2016, but stated that he was on his way out of horse racing until he met Baffert in 2019 and they worked out a plan for his racing operation.

Zedan praised Baffert both professionally and personally. When asked about the level of horse care in Baffert’s barn, Zedan responded, “Mr. Baffert doesn’t need my testimony to (an) outstanding career. He runs an immaculate operation. The results speak for themselves.”

He also stated that he has not found Baffert to be evasive, but rather approachable and communicative with people. “People confuse the person with the persona,” Zedan said.

At the end of his direct, Zedan stated that “the scientific system he has installed” is what keeps Baffert’s operation on the top of the sport. Even after what has happened, Zedan noted that top owners still send top horses to Baffert. He finished his direct by stating that Baffert has never suggested that there was a shortcut to getting the horses to perform well.

Zedan was also cross-examined about his involvement in horse racing in Saudi Arabia. Zedan stated that his board (the Supreme Equestrian Authority) focuses on budgeting and interacting with officials in higher levels of Saudi government.

Morgan asked Zedan about a horse who was disqualified from an endurance race in 2019 for a dexamethasone positive. Zedan stated that he could not speak to the incident in particular since it was before he was appointed, but that “I know in Saudi, in general, we run a tight ship.”

See full story at Horse Racing Nation »


Betty in Tampa left the following comment to the above at the HRN website:

Medina Spirit tested positive for a medication that is banned on race day — the DQ should stand, period. I don’t care how it got into his system, via cream, injection, chewed up orally like a peppermint or some wicked naughty Horse Fairy flew into his stall and sprinkled Beta Dust all over him — I don’t care what form or variate. The DQ is justified and this nonsense should be over.

“Baffert suspension was justified and the CDI has every right to issue a ban if they deem his ‘conduct’ to have a negative impact on their business and the sport of Horse Racing.”


And the horse . . . ?

Medina Spirit died Dec. 6, 2021 following a workout at Santa Anita Park in California of a suspected heart attack. He was three years old.


Hearing Links

Baffert/Medina Spirit Doping Appeal Hearing Day 1, Horse Racing Nation, 22nd Aug 2022 »

Baffert/Medina Spirit Doping Appeal Hearing Day 2, Horse Racing Nation, 23rd Aug 2022 »

Baffert/Medina Spirit Doping Appeal Hearing Day 3, Horse Racing Nation, 24th Aug 2022 »

Baffert/Medina Spirit Doping Appeal Hearing Day 4, Horse Racing Nation, 25th Aug 2022 »

Featured Image: Medina Spirit, Spectrum News photo.

Tuesday’s Horse

Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

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