Apr 11, 2022 - Sports

Bob Baffert banned from Preakness Stakes

Bob Baffert

Trainer Bob Baffert looks on during opening day of the winter-spring meet at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia on Dec. 26, 2021. Photo: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert is prohibited from competing in the Preakness Stakes next month, the Maryland Racing Commission said in a letter on Monday.

Driving the news: The commission was specifically asked to "take action to suspend [Baffert] from upcoming Maryland horse racing events" by the group Animal Wellness Action.

  • "Mr. Baffert will not be eligible to participate in the Preakness Stakes," J. Michael Hopkins, the commission's executive director, stated in his letter to the non-profit animal advocacy organization.

The big picture: The announcement comes after Baffert was banned from Kentucky races for 90 days starting April 4, according to NBC News.

  • The country's 38 racing states typically honor each other's prohibitions, however, the Maryland Racing Commission was specifically approached by Animal Wellness Action to consider Baffert's eligibility for Preakness.

Go deeper: Baffert was suspended by the New York Racing Association in May 2021 after his horse Medina Spirit — who won the Kentucky Derby — failed a post-race drug test.

  • The New York suspension was overturned by a federal judge in July 2021, who said the association erred in providing Baffert adequate time to respond to the allegations.
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