Horse Racing: Bob Baffert suing New York Racing Association following ban

Horse Racing: Bob Baffert suing New York Racing Association following ban

Horse Racing: Bob Baffert suing New York Racing Association following ban

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is suing the New York Racing Association (NYRA) for being banned after Medina Spirit failed its post-race drug test following the Kentucky Derby victory.

In new court documents that were obtained by TMZ Sports, Baffert said that the NYRA has "no basis" to suspend him. The lawsuit states that even though Medina Spirit’s sample came back positive for betamethasone, a prohibited race-day substance, Baffert says that he shouldn’t be punished until the investigation is completed.

"While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit's post-race blood sample," Baffert said after the race. "And our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results."

Baffert said that the ban by the NYRA was placed on him in mid-May, according to the lawsuit. 

Since he was suspended, Baffert couldn’t enter any of his horses in the Belmont Stakes on June 5. Baffert says that it cost him a lot of money, and he is now seeking damages, the lawsuit states.

The drug used on Medina Spirit was reportedly used to treat a skin infection on the horse. It wasn't used as an injection. Attorney Clark Brewster added that they expect tests to show the ointment is responsible for the positive test.

"I think that will shed the light most prominently on the issue here for us," Brewster told The Associated Press in early June. "The whole basis for listing betamethasone is because it’s injected into a joint and they want you not to inject the joints too close to the race, so the whole substantive basis is out the window if it’s a salve, and it can be proven scientifically and empirically to be the salve."

Baffert and the owners of Medina Spirit also filed a lawsuit against Kentucky racing officials.

They are seeking a temporary injunction they say is to prevent violation of due process rights and for custody of "remnant" samples of the colt’s urine to prove that traces of the steroid betamethasone found in his system during a positive drug test did not come from an injection.

Baffert and Zedan Racing Stables filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission last Monday in Franklin County Circuit Court. The suit stated that the KHRC told the trainer and owners around June 1 that remnant samples of the samples had been "damaged/contaminated" during transport to the testing lab. The lawsuit also seeks an injunction to prevent the KHRC from violating "substantive and procedural due process rights" regarding the analysis of the split sample.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is still completing its investigation before deciding whether or not to disqualify Medina Spirit from its Kentucky Derby victory. If Medina Spirit is indeed disqualified, Mandaloun would be the winner of the May 1 Kentucky Derby.

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