Bob Baffert banned from Santa Anita, Los Alamitos amid 90-day suspension

Sunday, April 3, 2022
Bob Baffert banned from Santa Anita, Los Alamitos amid suspension
Legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended by the California Horse Racing Board.

ARCADIA, Calif. (CNS) -- Legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended by the California Horse Racing Board effective Monday, as the state regulatory board honors Baffert's 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Racing Commission over the positive medication test by last year's disqualified Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.

Baffert, whose appeal for a stay of his suspension was denied by the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday, is banned from all enclosures under the jurisdiction of the CHRB during the suspension, including Santa Anita Park in Arcadia and Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress.

He is also not permitted to be involved in the training of horses previously under his care.

"Because of the CHRB's ruling, any trainer on the grounds at Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields, San Luis Rey Downs or Los Alamitos Race Course who may be the transferee of horses from the Baffert barn will be required to apply for stalls for those horses from the Santa Anita or Golden Gate Fields racing offices, as applicable, for review and approval,'' according to a statement issued Saturday by 1/ST Racing, an arm of The Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita.

"A Change of Trainer form will also be required to be submitted in order to enter races following such transfer. Horses that are not transferred to a trainer in California will be required to leave the grounds prior to April 4.''

Baffert must vacate his barn at Santa Anita Park prior to the start of the suspension Monday.

"I'm extremely disappointed that the Kentucky courts have deemed it appropriate for Mr. Baffert to have to serve a 90-day suspension (a) based on a topical ointment that is not a rules violation and (b) before his case has even been heard,'' said Craig Robertson, Baffert's Kentucky-based attorney, according to the Los Angeles Times. "This is unprecedented in the history of Kentucky horse racing.''

Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby last May but later tested positive for the steroid betamethasone, leading to challenges to the validity of the victory. Officials at Churchill Downs announced that Medina Spirit would be disqualified if the test was confirmed, and it suspended Baffert for two years.