Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Kentucky Derby

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...
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...
Preakness Odds and Picks: Who Will Win?

Preakness Odds and Picks: Who Will Win?

Sports
Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby on May 1 to give the trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh victory in the race, was installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, despite nearly not running at all after it was disclosed that he had tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid, after the Derby.While officials in Kentucky awaited results from a second sample before determining whether Medina Spirit’s Derby victory would be overturned, Preakness organizers on Tuesday announced they would let the colt run after Baffert and his lawyer agreed to expanded testing and monitoring of his horses in Baltimore.Below, the Preakness horses are listed in order of post position, with comments by Joe Drape and Melissa Hoppert of The New York Times. The morning-lin...
Horse Racing’s Integrity Faces Another Test

Horse Racing’s Integrity Faces Another Test

Sports
Thirty dead horses at a California track. Federal indictments accusing more than two dozen trainers and veterinarians from Florida to New York of doping their animals. All in the past two and a half years.Is there anything the sport of thoroughbred racing holds sacred?On Sunday, we found out: the Kentucky Derby.Almost as soon as Bob Baffert announced that his colt Medina Spirit had failed a drug test after winning the 147th running of America’s greatest race, officials of Churchill Downs made it clear that if a second sample confirmed the presence of betamethasone, a corticosteroid injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling, the colt would be disqualified and Mandaloun, the runner-up, would be declared the winner.Apparently, Churchill Downs treasures the Derby’s status enough to come...
Baffert Says Dermatitis Drug Caused Positive Betamethasone Test

Baffert Says Dermatitis Drug Caused Positive Betamethasone Test

Sports
Cancel culture was not responsible for the Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s positive drug test. Nor was contamination responsible, or a conspiracy at work. No, his trainer, Bob Baffert, said Tuesday, the colt was being treated for dermatitis with an ointment that contained the drug in question.“I had him checked out by my veterinarian who recommended the use of an antifungal ointment called Otomax,” Baffert said in a statement. At a veterinarian’s recommendation, the ointment was applied daily to Medina Spirit’s hind end to heal the dermatitis, the statement said.“Yesterday, I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone,” Baffert said in the statement. He added, “I wanted to be forthright about this fact as soon as I learned of this information.”Medina Spirit, w...
Baffert, Medina Springs’s Trainer, Denies Cheating Allegations

Baffert, Medina Springs’s Trainer, Denies Cheating Allegations

Sports
While the Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit spent most of Monday in a van headed to Baltimore, his defiant Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert blitzed the airwaves to deny that he was a cheater and warn that he was willing to go to court if his horse was barred from running in the Preakness Stakes this weekend.The white-haired Baffert, the face of American horse racing, usually makes the national media rounds after signature victories, like his record-breaking seven Derbys. For nearly 25 years, his California cool and quick-with-a-quip personality have charmed morning show hosts and the public alike.On Monday, however, Baffert was sober and defiant about his colt’s positive drug test for betamethasone, a corticosteroid injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling.“We did not chea...
Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Drug Test

Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Drug Test

Sports
The Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit, failed a postrace drug test, once more putting the practices of his Hall of Fame trainer, Bob Baffert, the embattled sport’s most recognizable personality, under uncomfortable scrutiny.If disqualified, Medina Spirit would be stripped of the Derby title and the winning purse, becoming only the third horse in the 147-year history of the race to receive the penalty after finishing first. The colt cannot be disqualified until testing of a sample collected at the same time as the first sample confirms the result. Baffert will then have an opportunity to appeal. The positive test comes as horse racing, acknowledging it has a drug problem, prepares to implement the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which was passed last year in Congress as part of cor...