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Hearing officer endorses 2-yr NYRA ban for Bob Baffert


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A retired New York State Supreme Court Justice on Wednesday proposed a two-year suspension for Bob Baffert for recurring medicine violations after the two-time Triple Crown-successful trainer’s hearing with the New York Racing Association.

The 50-web page ruling by hearing officer O. Peter Sherwood is not a remaining choice. Baffert’s camp and NYRA every single have 14 times to offer rebuttals ahead of a 3-person panel regulations on his standing.

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“NYRA fulfilled its burden with respect to all a few of the rates against Baffert,” Sherwood wrote in his impression, referring to expenses of carry out detrimental to the most effective passions of racing, the well being and safety of horses and jockeys, and the organization’s organization functions. “NYRA maintains (and the file displays) that Baffert has engaged in a sample and practice of illegal conduct that has no parallel in the fashionable record of thoroughbred racing.”

The panel’s conclusion are not able to be appealed via NYRA’s process, which was developed previous calendar year after Baffert productively sued in federal court to get his first suspension in the point out of New York lifted. That suspension in May came before the Belmont Stakes and after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit examined beneficial for a material that was not permitted in a horse’s program on race day.

Trainer Bob Baffert pets an outrider's horse while watching workouts at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 1. (WHD Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Coach Bob Baffert animals an outrider’s horse while viewing exercise routines at Churchill Downs Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, Might 1. (WHD Picture/Charlie Riedel)

Churchill Downs suspended Baffert for two years, leaving him unable to enter horses in the Kentucky Derby this 12 months and up coming. Baffert is preventing that ban in federal courtroom.

Baffert on April 3 began serving a 90-working day suspension imposed by the point out of Kentucky for medication violations. The suspension will be honored in all 38 states where by horse racing takes place and would necessarily mean no Baffert-skilled horses in the Preakness on Might 21 or the Belmont on June 11.

He by now has transferred horses to other trainers so they can run in the Derby on May well 7.

Baffert’s foreseeable future at NYRA’s three tracks — Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course — relies upon on the panel’s final determination.

If Saratoga attorney John J. Carusone, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association govt director Will Alempijevic and New York Race Keep track of Chaplaincy of The us leader the Rev. Humberto Chavez choose up Sherwood’s entire recommendation, Baffert would be banned at NYRA tracks until finally summer 2024.

Medina Spirit examined optimistic for the corticosteroid betamethasone, which is not allowed in Kentucky on race day, and was later disqualified. The colt completed 3rd in the Preakness two weeks right after the Derby.

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Medina Spirit collapsed and died in December in California. An exam identified no definitive result in of dying.

Baffert-experienced Cruel Intention, Eclair, Charlatan, Gamine and Merneith also tested constructive for a substance not authorized at that amount on race day. Those violations transpired in California, Arkansas or Kentucky none was in New York.

“These banned substances had the ability to impact their efficiency,” Sherwood wrote.

Baffert, 69, is a Hall of Fame coach who has become the encounter of the activity. He received the Triple Crown 2 times: in 2015 with American Pharoah and in 2018 with Justify.

NYRA declined extra comment, deferring to the report. Baffert lawyer W. Craig Robertson did not promptly answer to a message looking for remark on the ruling.

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