The hits just keep on coming for Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert. After being barred from entering any of his horses into the Triple Crown races in 2022, he's now been slapped with a new suspension.
According to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press, the New York Racing Association has suspended Baffert for one year. The suspension stems from repeated medical violations involving his horses.
“This was an impartial and deliberative process that has resulted in a lengthy suspension of the sport’s most prominent trainer,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in statement. “However, this is not simply about Bob Baffert or any one individual but about protecting the integrity of the sport here in New York. Today’s decision advances that goal.”
The voting panel gave Baffert some time served towards the suspension. He will be eligible to enter his horses into New York races again on January 26, 2023.
The ban is still shorter than the two-year ban Bob Baffert is being forced to serve as Kentucky's Churchill Downs racetrack.
As a result, Baffert will not be allowed to enter a horse into the 2023 Kentucky Derby - the first jewel of the Triple Crown. He will, however, be back from his ban in time to enter horses into the Belmont Stakes - the third jewel of the Triple Crown.
Baffert is tied for the record in Kentucky Derby wins with six. He is also tied for the most Preakness Stakes wins with seven.
More notably, he trained Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, who won the iconic feat in 2015 and 2018 respectively.
But it's going to take a lot more than winning races to restore his reputation after all of this.