Horse racing trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended temporarily by the New York Racing Association, disqualifying him from the upcoming Belmont Stakes.
Baffert’s embattled Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit is still awaiting the results of a new test after the horse tested positive for the banned steroid betamethasone, which has put his title into question.
Thirteen horses have won the Triple Crown, and the last two, American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018, were trained by Baffert. But a number have recently failed drug tests, which the NYRA cited in their decision.
NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a statement Monday that it’s the association’s responsibility to put the integrity of horse racing first.
“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,” said O’Rourke. “That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing.”
The suspension’s final terms will be determined based on Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby investigation, but the association said it will not accept entries or provide stall space to any individual employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables in the interim.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.