Jul 14, 2021 - Sports

Federal judge nullifies famed horse trainer Bob Baffert's New York suspension

Bob Baffert holding the Kentucky Derby trophy

Bob Baffert holding the Kentucky Derby trophy. Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

A federal judge on Wednesday nullified Bob Baffert's New York suspension, saying the state's racing association acted unconstitutionally by not allowing the Hall of Fame horse trainer adequate time to refute the allegations against him, the Associated Press reports.

State of play: Baffert was suspended in May after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test.

  • In its statement at the time, the New York Racing Association (NYRA) argued Baffert's suspension would protect the integrity of the sport and noted that it wasn't merely about Medina Spirit's failed drug test, but also due to the fact that Baffert has a history of his horses failing drug tests.
  • Baffert's horses have failed five drug tests in just over the last year, and in total, his horses have failed 30 tests over the past four decades, fueling suspicions of cheating, per the New York Times.

What she's saying: Judge Carol Bagley Amon stated Wednesday that the NYRA should have scheduled a post-suspension hearing where Baffert could respond to the claims against him, reports AP.

  • Instead, the NYRA "had held no hearing — let alone a prompt one," Amon wrote, per AP.
  • "[T]he public has no interest in having the ‘integrity of the sport’ enforced by unconstitutional means,” she added.
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