Story at a glance

  • The New York Racing Association charged legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert with conduct detrimental to the sport.
  • Brooklyn Judge Carol Bagley Amon later nullified the suspension, arguing that Baffert was not given adequate notice to respond to the allegations.
  • “We are determined to ensure the actions taken in furtherance of that goal comport with the requirements of due process, which is what the hearing rules and procedures established by NYRA provide,” O’Rourke added.

The horse racing association responsible for overseeing the historic and annual Belmont Stakes has charged legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert with conduct detrimental to the sport and formally scheduled a hearing for him to respond to allegations. 

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) in July suspended the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer from entering horses in races at its tracks after his Kentucky Derby-winning horse Medina Spirit failed its post-race drug test. Brooklyn Judge Carol Bagley Amon nullified the suspension upon Baffert’s lawsuit, arguing that Baffert was not given adequate notice to respond to the allegations. New York State Supreme Court Justice O. Peter Sherwood will oversee Baffert’s case.


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President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a statement,“NYRA has a responsibility to protect the integrity of the sport of thoroughbred racing,” per The Associated Press

“We are determined to ensure the actions taken in furtherance of that goal comport with the requirements of due process, which is what the hearing rules and procedures established by NYRA provide.”


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"As a result of the charges, the NYRA is seeking to exercise its reasonable discretionary business judgment to exclude respondent [Baffert] from entering or stabling horses on the grounds it operates, or any portion of such grounds,” according to the notice issued to the renowned horse trainer.

Churchill Downs, site of the Kentucky Derby, suspended Baffert for two years after Medina Spirit tested positive for the steroid betamethasone, but the Kentucky Racing Association has yet to conclude its own investigation. 

Baffert has repeatedly denied that Medina Spirit was willfully given the steroid, which is prohibited at any level on race day. 


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Published on Sep 10, 2021