Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Horse Racing

The Sports World’s Most Memorable and Human Moments of 2021

Sports
One of the beautiful things about sports is the raw emotion. Perhaps more than in any other walk of life, athletes in the heat of the moment, endorphins flowing, let loose.After the wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock won the women’s freestyle 150 pounds competition at the Tokyo Olympics, she formed a heart sign with her hands and showed it to both sides of the arena. Then she cried.Afterward, Mensah-Stock explained that the gesture was a tribute to her loved ones: her father, who died in a car crash after leaving one of her high school tournaments, which nearly made her quit wrestling; an uncle who died of cancer; a grandfather who also died of cancer; a late friend who also wrestled; her husband; her mother; her aunt; her sister; and her country.“I’m trying to send love to everyone,” she said.M...
Jessica Paquette Makes Plans for Retired Thoroughbreds

Jessica Paquette Makes Plans for Retired Thoroughbreds

Sports
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — Jessica Paquette calls herself a “weird horse girl.” She was 6 when she was first entranced by them, at a New England fair. They were so big, but gentle enough for her to reach up and rub their noses.She wanted them in her life.Her family was working class, making the life of a young equestrian out of reach. But a nearby racetrack, Rockingham Park, in Salem, N.H., became her classroom. She studied the horses up close as a hot walker, getting up before dawn to cool them down.After school, she was back at the track in her Catholic school uniform to learn about pedigree and pace from a group of horse playing seniors who, besides imparting knowledge, made sure no one bothered the girl in the plaid jumper.By 18, she was taking bets as a mutuel clerk at Suffolk Downs in ...
In Sarasota Springs, Horse Racing’s Troubles Cloud a Tradition

In Sarasota Springs, Horse Racing’s Troubles Cloud a Tradition

Sports
The most recent are the most damning.The trainer Jorge Navarro — caught on videotape calling himself the Juice Man — pleaded guilty to giving his horses multiple performance-enhancing substances and admitted that he distributed them to others. Navarro was perennially atop the Monmouth Park trainer standings and said he had doped numerous horses, including Sharp Azteca, a Grade I winner who now is a stallion.Kristian Rhein, a veterinarian, admitted to doping horses including the Jason Servis-trained Maximum Security, who won four Grade I races and was disqualified from first place for interference in the 2019 Kentucky Derby.Servis has pleaded not guilty and is contesting the charges.“Kristian Rhein and Jorge Navarro represent the supply side and the customer side of the market in performanc...
No Need for Speed at Grants Pass Downs in Oregon

No Need for Speed at Grants Pass Downs in Oregon

Sports
Scriver, however, has a dream.“I want to go to Kentucky and ride,” she said. “I want to ride at Churchill Downs — even a small race.”Scriver has been atop a horse since learning to walk — as a little girl in 4H in Curlew, Wash., and barrel racing at rodeos as an adolescent. When she was 13, she asked a friend of her father’s, who owned thoroughbreds, to teach her to gallop.“I wanted to go fast,” she said.By 16, she was galloping horses for $12 a ride in the mornings and playing high school volleyball and softball in the afternoons. She got her jockey license at 18, winning for the first time in her 11th start aboard Bobbygenesjustice on Aug. 10, 2019, at the Tillamook County Fair.She has had about 500 starts since then, has won 77 of them and finished in the money in nearly half to earn mo...
Bob Baffert’s Suspension in New York Is Overturned in Federal Court

Bob Baffert’s Suspension in New York Is Overturned in Federal Court

Sports
A federal judge on Wednesday said the horse trainer Bob Baffert could race in New York State, nullifying a suspension by the New York Racing Association.In her written ruling, Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York said Baffert had not been offered the opportunity to respond to claims made against him after Medina Spirit, the winner of the Kentucky Derby, failed a post-race drug test at the track, Churchill Downs.Amon said that a prompt post-suspension hearing, where Baffert could have rebutted any claims against him, was needed to adhere to the Constitution. But she said the racing association “had held no hearing — let alone a prompt one.”The racing association barred Baffert from its tracks — Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga —...
Bob Baffert Sues New York Racing Officials Over ‘Impulsive’ Ban

Bob Baffert Sues New York Racing Officials Over ‘Impulsive’ Ban

Sports
Bob Baffert, the trainer of the Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, sued the New York Racing Association on Monday for banning him from competing at the three tracks it operates, saying in an affidavit it “will effectively put me out of business in the State of New York.”The association barred Baffert from entering horses or stabling them at the Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct racetracks after Medina Spirit’s post-Derby drug test was positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid that is injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling.In a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn, Baffert said the suspension was unconstitutional and that he wanted it lifted so horses in his high-powered barn could race in lucrative and prestigious races in Saratoga this summer and at Belmont in the fall...
What to Know About the 153rd Belmont Stakes

What to Know About the 153rd Belmont Stakes

Sports
As was the case for the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, it was a gorgeous day at Belmont Park on Saturday — the sun was shining, the track was fast, and after a year away because of the coronavirus pandemic, the crowd was more joyful than inebriated. It was a trifecta of perfect conditions for the Belmont Stakes, one of horse racing’s most cherished showcases.Essential Quality, the Derby favorite who could not overcome a bad start, sat out the Preakness in the hopes of a better showing in the Belmont. His connections still believed that he belonged at the top of his 3-year-old class.Their plan paid off as he outdueled Hot Rod Charlie in the stretch in what essentially became a two-horse race to win by a one-and-a-quarter lengths. He completed the mile-and-a-half Test of the Champi...
Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Second Drug Test

Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Second Drug Test

Sports
Medina Spirit’s positive drug test after the Kentucky Derby has been confirmed, setting the stage for the colt trained by Bob Baffert to be the second horse in the 147-year history of the race to be disqualified as its winner because of a failed drug test.Clark Brewster, a lawyer who represents Medina Spirit’s owner, Amr Zedan, said a laboratory at the University of California, Davis, tested a second postrace sample from the Derby. The test confirmed the presence of the drug betamethasone, a corticosteroid that is injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling, at a prohibited level. Baffert chose the lab where the sample was tested.In a text message, however, Brewster said the laboratory did not test the blood or urine samples for the presence of other compounds, “which could prove the ...
Bob Baffert Barred From Belmont Stakes by NY Racing Officials

Bob Baffert Barred From Belmont Stakes by NY Racing Officials

Sports
New York horse racing officials on Monday barred the trainer Bob Baffert not only from entering the Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Belmont Stakes, but also from running any of his horses at Belmont Park or at Saratoga Race Course this summer.In a statement, David O’Rourke, chief executive of the New York Racing Association, cited the investigation into Medina Spirit’s victory on May 1 in the Kentucky Derby. But he also took into account Baffert’s “failed drug tests in the recent past, resulting in the assessment of penalties against him by thoroughbred racing regulators in Kentucky, California and Arkansas.”Neither Baffert, a Hall of Fame trainer with seven Kentucky Derby victories, nor his horses will be allowed on the grounds of those New York racetracks, which will be costly...
Rombauer Wins the 2021 Preakness, Surging Past Medina Spirit

Rombauer Wins the 2021 Preakness, Surging Past Medina Spirit

Sports
BALTIMORE — Medina Spirit was running against more than the nine rivals on the track on Saturday. He was taking on an ex-president who had called him “a junkie,” late night comics and a public skeptical of his natural talent after he won the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago but failed a drug test afterward.For a mile and three-sixteenths, Medina Spirit chugged around Pimlico Race Course, leading for much of it. But so much hung in the balance: the colt’s reputation; another record for his absent trainer, Bob Baffert; and the credibility of an old and battered sport that very much needs to change.In the end, that load was too heavy for Medina Spirit.Instead, a long shot colt named Rombauer rolled down the middle of the lane like a riverboat let loose on a downstream current of the Mississippi R...