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Shutdown for Baffert? It`s getting tighter and tighter...

He has achieved almost everything that can be achieved in his career. Just a few weeks ago, he won the Dubai World Cup for the third time. But the career of the dazzling US star coach Bob Baffert (previously discussed here) is at a crossroads. After several doping scandals, his horses were famously banned from some US hippodromes. Some horses have already been transferred to other trainers to compete in the Kentucky Derby, for which Baffert is suspended.

The latest news will also not please the white-haired grand seigneur, who has been waging a fierce legal battle with regulators for months. The Kentucky Court of Appeals has denied Bob Baffert`s request for an emergency stay of a 90-day suspension. This is the latest in a series of legal setbacks for the Hall of Fame trainer in his fight against two suspensions related to Medina Spirit`s positive test after the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The court rejected Baffert`s claim that his suspension would cause "irreparable harm before the matter can be heard in due course".

The case before the appeals court relates to the suspension handed down by Kentucky stewards after they disqualified Medina Spirit in February, nine months after the positive test for betamethasone was revealed.

Baffert is challenging a separate two-year ban on Churchill Downs using starters at her racetrack that also prohibits the trainer`s horses from accumulating points toward qualifying for the Kentucky Derby in 2022 and 2023. The next challenge to that ban will be heard in federal court, where a hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for April 15.

With the clock ticking on this year`s Kentucky Derby on May 7, Churchill Downs` ban has prompted Baffert to move three of his best three-year-old horses to his former assistant Tim Yakteen`s barn last month and a fourth to Rodolphe Brisset.

The ban imposed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which is recognised by racing authorities across the country, means that Baffert must disband his Southern California stable under California Horse Racing Board rule 1843.3, which provides that any trainer who receives a suspension of 60 days or more is barred from all CHRB-licensed facilities.

Following the Court of Appeal`s rejection of the appeal, Baffert`s attorney Clark Brewster said, "We are disappointed by today`s decision, but it is important to understand that the court made it clear that it was rejecting the suspension on procedural grounds only, not on grounds of reasoning, all of which indicate that Bob will ultimately win this case. We will continue to fight for Bob to race and win in Kentucky, and against the KHRC`s injustice to Bob." Either way, how the case plays out will make big waves. Either way, things are getting tighter for Bob Baffert.

The Racecourse Spy
17.05.2022 - A fairy tale has come true
10.05.2022 - The Vermeulen case: Transparency is the be-all and end-all
03.05.2022 - Written off too early: How coaches fight their way back to the top
26.04.2022 - US coach Wesley Ward: Royal Ascot in his sights again
19.04.2022 - Almost back to the way it used to be - normality returns
05.04.2022 - Is Europe losing touch?
28.03.2022 - Hope for a better 2022
22.03.2022 - Sanctioned persons have no place in racing
15.03.2022 - Hope for Torquator Tasso
08.03.2022 - Others play the leading roles
01.03.2022 - One minute and 25 seconds were missing
22.02.2022 - Quo vadis, Pierre-Charles Boudot?
15.02.2022 - The way back to normality
08.02.2022 - Racing or American football ? It does not have to be complicated
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