During an interview on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom“ on Monday, Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert pushed back against claims that his horse illegally won the Kentucky Derby, citing cancel culture issues from the allegations.
As reported by Fox News, Baffert said, “[This] did not happen. That horse has never been treated with (betamethasone). Actually, it’s a legal therapeutic medicine, and the amount that was in it wouldn’t have any effect on the horse anyway. But we don’t … that horse was never treated with that, and so that’s the disturbing part of it.”
“I never thought I’d have to be fighting for my reputation and this poor horse’s reputation. Because of the new regulations the regulators have put, they’re testing these horses at contaminated levels, and it’s been a horrible experience.”
“It did not happen, and that’s the really seriously troubling part of it,” he added. “[We’re hiring] investigators, but sometimes you never find out. It’s just a tragedy what happened in this race.”
“We live in a new world now. These horses don’t live in a bubble,” he said. “They’re in an open farm. People are touching them. He went from the Derby to after the Derby, everybody’s out there touching them. I mean there’s so many ways these horses can get contaminated and when they’re testing at these really ridiculously low levels … I’ve been saying it for over a year now these are gonna get innocent people in trouble and this is what happened now.”
On Sunday, Baffert said that after the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid banned above a certain level in racing.
The Daily Wire reported:
Bob Baffert, who appeared with his lawyer, Craig Robertson, for a press conference at Churchill Downs, said his team has been informed that Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, double the legal threshold in Kentucky racing. He called the finding “shocking” because he says Medina Spirit has “never been treated with betamethasone.”
Churchill Downs released a statement after the news of Medina Spirit’s positive drug test, saying, “Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack. To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”
Baffert said that he hasn’t heard any news about Medina Spirit’s status for the Preakness Stakes, which is set for Saturday.
Craig Robertson, Baffert’s attorney, told Fox News that Baffert is prepared to file a temporary restraining order (TRO) if the horse is not allowed to enter the Preakness.
If a judge approves the TRO, that would make it so that Pimlico Race Course cannot ban Baffert from entering Medina Spirit in the event.
Robertson said he has not yet held talks with Pimlico’s team, but would be “reaching out to them” Monday.
“Hopefully they reach a decision that is one we can live with. If not, we will go to court and we will seek a TRO,” he said. “We don’t even have an official positive yet. Any decision to ban him, by anyone, be it Churchill or Pimlico or anyone else, is unlawful.”
Baffert said that he thinks the Medina Spirit investigation will “take months.”
“With all the noise … We live in a different world now. This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they’re reviewing it. I haven’t been told anything. We’re prepared to run,” he said.
“We did not cheat to win the Kentucky Derby,” Baffert noted.
“I want to protect my legacy. I’ve trained great horses. I’ve trained the best horses that have run through there. My record proves it. This is horrible what has happened. The horse never got that medication. It’s an injustice to the horse. He’s a great horse. He ran hard. He deserved to win that race and it kills me because these horses are like my children and for something to happen to him like that is horrible but we have to deal with it and hopefully it will get resolved.”
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