Bob Baffert Receives 2-Year Suspension From Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby

Record-breaking horse trainer Bob Baffert will not be able to race any horses in the Kentucky Derby for the next two years after a suspension was announced Wednesday.

What Happened: A two-year suspension was announced by Churchill Downs Inc CHDN for trainer Baffert.

The suspension comes after it was revealed that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned substance in a second drug test.

The suspension means that no horses trained by Baffert will be able to race at tracks owned by Churchill Downs until the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has not made a decision yet to whether Medina Spirit's Kentucky Derby victory will be overturned. 

Churchill Downs Inc. owns Churchill Downs, Derby City Gaming, Newport Racing, Oak Grove Racing and Turfway Park.

“Mr. Baffert’s record of testing failures threatens public confidence in thoroughbred racing and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby,” Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said.

The CEO cited failed tests by other horses including five in 2021.

Related Link: Is Churchill Downs A Buy Ahead Of The 2021 Kentucky Derby

Why It’s Important: The suspension means Baffert will not be able to race a horse in the next two Kentucky Derby races.

Baffert is the record holder with seven wins for the event, more than any other trainer.

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse racing event of the year, airing on NBC, a unit of Comcast Corporation CMCSA.

Baffert's suspension could lead to some of the best two-year-old horses missing out on the Kentucky Derby or seeing horse owners transfer the horses to a different trainer so as not to not miss out on the annual event.

Bob Baffert. Photo by Richard Yaussi via Wikimedia

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