Medina Spirit coach Bob Baffert speaks to the media during practice for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on April 29, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Andy Lyons | Getty Images
Coach Bob Baffert was temporarily banned from participating in horses – including Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit – in the Belmont Stakes or races on other major New York circuits next month on Monday, as Medina Spirit posted a positive following its Derby win Had done a test for a prohibited drug.
The suspension comes two days after Medina Spirit finished third in the Preakness Stakes – the second jewel in thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown – and as Baffert waits for a second test that could obliterate Medina Spirit’s Derby win.
Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone on the day of the derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, 11 picograms above the legal limit.
The New York Racing Association said its decision to ban Baffert’s horses for the time being took into account not only the derby probe, but also “the fact that other horses Mr. Baffert trained have recently failed drug tests, which is why That led to assessments of the penalties against him by thoroughbred racing officials in Kentucky, California and Arkansas. “
The suspension applies to all Baffert horses competing in races or taking up stable spaces in Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course, and Aqueduct Racetrack, the state’s three main racing circuits.
John Velazquez leads Medina Spirit to the 147th round of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Jamie Rhodes | USA TODAY Sports | Reuters
Dave O’Rourke, CEO of the New York Racing Association, said, “To maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, betting audiences and race participants.”
“That responsibility calls for the steps being taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred separation,” said O’Rourke.
The Racing Association said it was awaiting “a final decision on the length and terms of Mr. Baffert’s suspension based on information revealed in the course of the ongoing Kentucky investigation, such as the results of the Medina Spirit Derby Test Kentucky.”
Maryland race officials allowed Medina Spirit and another Baffert-trained horse, Concert Tour, to attend the Preakness last week after receiving a “binding commitment” from Baffert for “complete transparency of medical results and test results, all of the results enable.” to be released to the public.
Rombauer won the Preakness, followed by Midnight Bourbon and Medina Spirit. Concert Tour finished ninth.
The Belmont Stakes, the third stage of the Triple Crown, is scheduled for June 5th.
Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns NBC and NBC Sports, which broadcast the Triple Crown races.