Bob Baffert with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah before the 2015 Belmont Stakes.
New York Racing Association/Adam Coglianese
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced on Monday evening that trainer Bob Baffert has been temporarily suspended from entering horses and occupying stall space at Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, and Aqueduct Racetrack.
The decision stems from the failed post-race drug test of Baffert’s horse, Medina Spirit, shortly after winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby earlier this month. Baffert admitted that the horse tested positive for the banned substance, betamethasone.
Medina Spirit was still allowed to race at the 2021 Preakness Stakes last weekend, in which he finished third, under stricter monitoring and testing leading up to the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.
“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,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing.”
The length of the suspension is unknown and pending the ongoing investigation of Medina Spirit’s failed drug test at Churchill Downs. However, it casts immediate doubt on Baffert’s ability to enter horses at the 2021 Belmont Stakes — the third jewel of the Triple Crown — on Saturday, June 5.
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