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Medina Spirit at the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert has been temporarily suspended from "entering horses in races and occupying stall space" at New York's Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, and Aqueduct Racetrack, the New York Racing Association announced Monday.

Why it matters: The ban applies to Baffert's assistants as well, and the move will likely be costly to owners as these races are prominent and lucrative for the winners, per the New York Times.

The big picture: The suspension comes amidst a horse racing scandal after one of Baffert's horses — this year's winner of the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit — failed a post-race drug test.

  • Though the ultimate cause of Medina Spirit's failed test is still being investigated, last week Baffert admitted that the thoroughbred was being treated with an anti-fungal ointment that contained the steroid found in the test.

Of note: NYRA noted in the statement that the decision to suspend Baffert isn't just about the recent scandal, but also due to the fact that Baffert has a history of his horses failing drug tests.

  • Five of Baffert's horses have failed drug tests in just over the last year, and in total, 30 of his horses have failed tests over the past four decades, per the New York Times.

What they're saying: “In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants,” Dave O’Rourke, NYRA president and CEO, said in the statement.

  • "That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing.”

Go deeper

Dozens missing after deadly Miami-area condo collapse

A massive search-and-rescue operation is underway after a portion of a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida, collapsed at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, according to AP.

The latest: As many as 99 people are reported missing, Miami-Dade County's police director said, per the Miami Herald.

Biden strikes infrastructure deal with bipartisan group of senators

President Biden announced Thursday that he had agreed to a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure plan with a bipartisan group of ten senators, declaring: "We have a deal."

Why it matters: The agreement on the size and scope of an infrastructure package is a major achievement for Biden, who has long been a proponent of bipartisanship, but the compromise still faces serious hurdles in the House and Senate.

Pacific Northwest soon to be ground zero for record-shattering heat

Computer model projection showing the unusually strong heat dome over the Pacific Northwest on Sunday. (PivotalWeather).

A heat wave is bringing unprecedented high temperatures to the Pacific Northwest — a region of the country typically cooled by the ocean, rather than central air conditioning. The heat will begin Friday and last into early next week.

Why it matters: The heat wave will shatter monthly and all-time temperature records in the Pacific Northwest. Some of the records could break the old milestones by several degrees.