It’s been a bad couple of weeks for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. After seeing his Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit defeated at the Preakness Stakes to end his bid for a third Triple Crown, he got even worse news today.
According to David Grening of Daily Racing Form, the New York Racing Association has banned Baffert from entering horses or occupying stable space at NYRA tracks. That includes Belmont Park, the site of the upcoming Belmont Stakes.
Per the report, the length of the ban will be determined pending the investigation into Medina Spirit’s positive test from the Kentucky Derby. But in the meantime, Baffert is going to be in a rough position with a lot of his best horses.
The NYRA oversees races at Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga, three of the top tracks in the country. He has already been suspended at Churchill Downs, the site of his now-controversial Kentucky Derby win.
Baffert races dozens of horses between those tracks over the course of a single year.
THIS JUST IN: @thenyra bans Bob Baffert from entering horses or occupying stable space at NYRA tracks. Length of ban will be determined by investigation into Medina Spirit’s KY Derby positive. Story to come.
— David Grening (@DRFGrening) May 17, 2021
Medina Spirit tested positive for the banned substance betamethasone after winning the Kentucky Derby last month. The positive test sparked an ongoing investigation as to whether the horse has been doping.
It’s not the first time Baffert has come under scrutiny for juicing his horses though. As many as 31 horses he’s trained have failed drug tests during his 40-plus years in horse racing.
Prior to Medina Spirit, the most notable of those horses was Triple Crown winner Justify, who was investigated after testing positive for scopolamine after winning the 2018 Santa Anita Derby. But Justify and Baffert were ultimately cleared.
Based on these punishments, the race tracks don’t seem inclined to give Baffert the benefit of the doubt this time.