Bob Baffert has made a name in the field of racehorse training. Despite his impeccable skill set, the 68-year-old legendary trainer has faced a set of controversies under his name- the most recent being his Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit that failed a drug test. Post the unsuccessful drug test, Baffert has been prohibited from entering the horse races.
This decision comes in light of last week’s events, where Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit had won America’s most prestigious race at Churchill Downs. However, the moment of celebration didn’t last long as his horse, Medina Spirit had tested positive for having 21 picograms of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug – a number far above Kentucky’s threshold of 10 picograms per milliliter.
Upon Medina Spirit’s failed drug test, Baffert expressed profound shock, claiming that his horse had never been given the substance at all. He felt baffled at the accusation and declared how he “got the biggest punch in racing” for something that wasn’t his fault. A second test will be conducted on the sample and if it yields the same result, Medina Spirit’s win will be slashed and Mandaloun will be made the new winner.
In a public statement, the legendary horse racing track declared how it would not compromise on the safety of its horses and jockeys. Moreover, “failure to comply with the rules and medication protocols” will not be tolerated at any cost. Although Medina Spirit is yet to pass through another test, the Churchill Downs suspended Bob Baffert with immediate effect, citing the “seriousness of the alleged offense” as the reason for doing so.
Bob Baffert was joined by attorney Chris Robertson at Churchill Downs where the former vehemently denied any act of wrong-doing. He further stated how the situation is unfathomable and has led him to feel ‘wronged’ instead of ‘embarrassed.’ However, the California-based trainer didn’t let the weight of the situation get to him. He vowed to bring justice to the horse with all his might and power- a promise he owes to the horse and its owner.
Last year, another of Bob Baffert’s horses had tested positive for the same drug after ending up third in the Kentucky Oats last year. He had then promised, “to do better” for the horses and the country as a whole.