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Bob Baffert sues Churchill Downs over 2-year suspension


Bob Baffert has sued Churchill Downs and monitor management in federal courtroom, in search of to overturn the embattled Corridor of Fame coach’s two-year suspension on grounds it violated his due course of rights.

The go well with filed Tuesday in U.S. District Courtroom names Churchill Downs Inc., CEO William C. Carstanjen and board chair R. Alex Rankin. The historic monitor suspended Baffert final 12 months by 2023 and cited a current spate of failed drug exams by his horses together with now-deceased colt Medina Spirit after he received the Kentucky Derby. A postrace drug take a look at revealed the corticosteroid betamethasone in his system, which is allowed in Kentucky however prohibited on race day.

Kentucky racing stewards final week disqualified Medina Spirit and handed Baffert a 90-day suspension and $7,500 positive. Churchill Downs acknowledged runner-up Mandaloun as winner quickly after. Kentucky Horse Racing Fee director Marc A. Guilfoil on Friday denied the coach’s request to remain the suspension that’s scheduled to start on March 8.

Opening day of the winter-spring meet at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia.
Coach Bob Baffert seems to be on throughout Opening day of the winter-spring meet at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia on Sunday, December 26, 2021.

Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-Information by way of Getty Photographs


Baffert and his representatives have argued that the steroid in Medina Spirit got here from the topical ointment Otomax, slightly than an injection that’s banned. Legal professional Clark Brewster acknowledged in a launch Tuesday that Churchill Downs is just not tasked with relegating horse racing in Kentucky however “might unilaterally ban” a coach with out having details or any semblance of due course of.

“Churchill Downs and Mr. Carstanjen knew full nicely that imposing its suspension, primarily based on zero factual or authorized help, would give illegitimate credibility to a false narrative about Bob,” Brewster added, “creating strain on the Kentucky Race Horsing Fee stewards to take motion in opposition to him, too.”

Churchill Downs known as Baffert’s lawsuit disappointing however not shocking in a press release and mentioned it will combat the go well with and defend the corporate’s rights.

“His claims are meritless and constant along with his sample of failed drug exams, denials, excuses and makes an attempt in charge others and establish loopholes so as to keep away from taking duty for his actions,” it added.

Medina Spirit died on December 6 from what Baffert mentioned was a coronary heart assault following a exercise at Santa Anita race monitor in California. A necropsy revealed no definitive trigger for his demise. The horse’s ashes can be interred at a retirement farm for thoroughbred horses in Kentucky.



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