7 Time Pre-Winner Bob Baffert Sues Churchill Drops Due to Suspension – CBS Baltimore

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP / WJZ) – Bob Baffert sued Churchill Downs and led tracking in federal court, seeking to overturn the Hall of Fame coach’s two-year suspension on the grounds of violating his due process rights.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in US District Court, names Churchill Downs Inc., Chief Executive Officer William C. Carstanjen and chairman of the board R. Alex Rankin. The historic track suspended Baffert from last spring to 2023 and cites a string of recent failed drug tests by his horses, including the now-dead Medina Spirit colt horse after when he won the Kentucky Derby. A post-result drug test showed the corticosteroid betamethasone in his system, which is allowed in Kentucky but banned on race day.

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Before the Preakness Stakes in 2021, Baffert, a seven-time Triple Crown crown jewel, and the Maryland Jockey Club agreed to test the horse’s blood. Medina Spirit passed all three of her drug tests before running in the second jewel in the Triple Crown of horse racing, Maryland racecourse officials said. Samples were taken on May 6, May 10 and May 11.

Kentucky race administrators last week disqualified Medina Spirit and fined Baffert 90 days and a $7,500 fine. Churchill Downs recognized runner-up Mandaloun as the winner shortly after. Kentucky Equestrian Commission director Marc A. Guilfoil on Friday denied the coach’s request to uphold the suspension slated to begin March 8.

Baffert and his representatives argued that the steroids in Medina Spirit came from Otomax topical ointment, not the banned injection. Attorney Clark Brewster stated in a statement Tuesday that Churchill Downs was not tasked with eliminating Kentucky horse racing but “could unilaterally ban” a trainer without the event or any other rules. any legal process.

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“Churchill Downs and Mr Carstanjen are well aware that imposing its suspension, on the basis of no factual or legal support, would create unlawful credence for a false story. about Bob,” Brewster added, “put pressure on the management of the Kentucky Equestrian Commission. the same goes for action against him. “

Churchill Downs called Baffert’s lawsuit disappointing but not surprising in a statement and said it would fight the lawsuit and defend the interests of the company.

“His claims are futile and fit the pattern of failed drug testing, denial, excuses and attempts to blame others, as well as identifying loopholes to avoid being held accountable for actions. his movements,” it added.

Medina Spirit died on December 6 of what Baffert said was a heart attack after training at the Santa Anita racetrack in California. An autopsy did not reveal the exact cause of his death. The horse’s ashes will be laid to rest at a thoroughbred retirement ranch in Kentucky.

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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/01/7-time-preakness-winner-bob-baffert-sues-churchill-downs-over-suspension/ 7 Time Pre-Winner Bob Baffert Sues Churchill Drops Due to Suspension – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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