Trainer Bob Baffert banned from entering Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Belmont Stakes

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Monday, May 17, 2021
Baffert banned from entering Medina Spirit in the Belmont
Trainer Bob Baffert has been banned from entering Medina Spirit, the Kentucky Derby winner, in the Belmont Stakes.

ELMONT, New York (WABC) -- With the Belmont Stakes less than three weeks away, the New York State Racing Association barred trainer Bob Baffert from entering Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in the Belmont, as well as from running any of his horses at Belmont Park or at Saratoga Race Course this summer.

"In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants," said NYRA President and CEO Dave O'Rourke. "That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing."

On May 9, Baffert publicly acknowledged that Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, a banned corticosteroid that would trigger a disqualification and loss of purse money should a split sample return the same finding.

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The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is required to await the split-sample results before rendering a final determination in the matter.

In addition to the ongoing investigation into Medina Spirit's victory in the Kentucky Derby, NYRA has taken into account the fact that other horses trained by Mr. Baffert have failed drug tests in the recent past, resulting in the assessment of penalties against him by thoroughbred racing regulators in Kentucky, California, and Arkansas.

During the temporary suspension, NYRA will not accept entries or provide stall space to any individual employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables.

NYRA expects to make a final determination regarding the length and terms of Mr. Baffert's suspension based on information revealed during the course of the ongoing investigation in Kentucky, such as the post-Kentucky Derby test results of Medina Spirit.

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