Bob Baffert faces more backlash from NYRA, Churchill Downs as road to return gets tougher

POSTED ON  |  14-09-2021

Bob Baffert
Still trying to fend off disqualification from the 2021 Kentucky Derby, Bob Baffert was confronted Friday with fresh challenges to his future in racing. In announcements released two hours apart, the New York Racing Association and Churchill Downs both targeted the Hall of Fame trainer with new initiatives designed to prevent him or his proxies from competing at their tracks.

NYRA’s suspension, invalidated by federal judge Carol Bagley Amon in July over a failure to observe due process, will be revisited in a hearing scheduled for Sept. 27. Following five drug-related penalties in a span of 12 months, Baffert stands charged of conduct detrimental to “the best interests of racing;” to “the health and safety of horses and jockeys” and to “NYRA business operations.”

This conduct, NYRA said, “warrants revocation or suspension of (the) right to train horses, enter races, or engage in any racing-related activity at all NYRA properties including Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course.”

“We applaud NYRA for their decision to bring charges against Bob Baffert and hope this serial horse abuser and cheater will soon be ousted from the sport of horse racing," said Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action. "Bob Baffert is dragging down the entire racing industry in America, and other racing authorities in the U.S. should take a page from NYRA’s playbook and bring further action against him."

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