Bob Baffert Denied Injunction in Federal Kentucky Derby Lawsuit

Posted on: February 17, 2023, 11:52h. 

Final up to date on: February 17, 2023, 11:52h.

A federal decide in Louisville on Friday denied Bob Baffert’s request for an injunction that will have given the Corridor of Fame thoroughbred coach an opportunity to enter horses on this yr’s Kentucky Derby.

Gene Synder courthouse
An exterior shot of the Gene Snyder US Courthouse in Downtown Louisville, KY. A federal decide there on Friday denied horse racing coach Bob Baffert’s request for an injunction that will have allowed him to enter horses on this yr’s Kentucky Derby. Baffert is suing Churchill Downs, which issued a two-year suspension towards him in June 2021. (Picture: Nyttend/Wikimedia Commons)

US District Decide Rebecca Grady Jennings’ choices in her 36-page ruling make this yr’s Derby a longshot for Baffert. The coach has gained the celebrated race six instances, however Churchill Downs barred him from its tracks for 2 years after his horse Medina Spirit, who completed first within the 2021 Derby, failed a post-race drug check. Stewards ultimately disqualified Medina Spirit because the race’s winner.

That two-year suspension is about to finish in June.

Baffert filed the federal lawsuit towards the Louisville-based firm almost a yr in the past. He was unsuccessful in getting an injunction to enter horses in final yr’s Derby. Guidelines for this yr’s race require homeowners to switch their nominated horses to eligible trainers by the top of this month so as to earn qualification factors in upcoming prep races. That’s why his crew made one other request for an injunction.

A message to Baffert legal professional Clark Brewster was not returned on Friday. Nevertheless, Brewster advised Horse Racing Nation the authorized crew would learn Jennings’ ruling rigorously earlier than making their subsequent transfer within the courtroom system.

Decide Additionally Agrees to Dismiss 5 Counts

Baffert’s crew tried to argue the suspension from racing at Churchill Downs and different tracks the corporate owns harmed him, however Jennings famous in her ruling that the coach remains to be capable of enter horses in races at different tracks. As well as, she added that he would as soon as once more be eligible to enter horses within the Derby beginning subsequent yr.

Along with denying Baffert an injunction, Jennings additionally granted, partly, a movement by Churchill Downs to dismiss the case. She agreed to dismiss 5 of the six counts Baffert filed within the swimsuit. The one one left standing is one the place the coach claimed Churchill Downs’ motion violated his due course of, however Jennings stated Baffert’s crew “can not show a probability of success” their case would achieve success on that depend.

The decide additionally stated that granting Baffert an injunction might have an effect on Churchill Downs and the Derby. The yr earlier than Medina Spirit examined constructive for an extreme quantity of betamethasone in his system, one other Baffert horse, Gamine, was disqualified from her third-place end within the Kentucky Oaks for failing a post-race drug check.

As defined, Baffert is the one coach whose horses have examined constructive in back-to-back marquee races on CDI tracks,” Jennings wrote. “Failing to punish trainers whose horses check constructive in marquee races might hurt CDI’s popularity and the integrity of their races.”

No matter what occurs within the Churchill case, Baffert stays eligible to enter horses within the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, the opposite two legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

What’s Subsequent for Baffert’s Horses?

Regardless of the ban in place towards him, Baffert has continued to enter horses in Kentucky Derby prep races. Nevertheless, so long as he’s the listed coach, these horses can not obtain any factors for his or her efficiency in these races.

The listing of nominated horses for this yr’s Derby, scheduled to run on Might 6, exhibits 29 with the coach’s title listed as “TBD.” These horses are all at the moment educated by Baffert. Amongst these horses is Arabian Knight. On January 28, that colt gained the Southwest Stakes, a Kentucky Derby prep race, by five-and-a-half lengths. Zedan Racing Stables, which owned Medina Spirit, owns Arabian Knight.

To ensure that these horses to run within the Derby, their homeowners would wish to maneuver them out of Baffert’s barn by February 28. They might then be eligible to earn factors in Kentucky Derby prep races held in March and April.



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