Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) announced today that Bob Baffert is suspended for two years effective immediately through the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs Racetrack. The suspension prohibits Baffert or any other trainer directly or indirectly employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables from entering horses in races or apply for stalls at all Churchill Downs Incorporated owned racetracks.
The decision follows the confirmation by attorneys representing Bob Baffert of the presence of betamethasone, a prohibited race-day substance.
"CDI has consistently advocated for strict medication regulations so that we can confidently ensure that horses are fit to race and the races are conducted fairly," said Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI. "Reckless practices and substance violations that jeopardize the safety of our equine and human athletes or compromise the integrity of our sport are not acceptable and as a company we must take measures to demonstrate that they will not be tolerated. Mr. Baffert's record of testing failures threatens public confidence in thoroughbred racing and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby. Given these repeated failures over the last year, including the increasingly extraordinary explanations, we firmly believe that asserting our rights to impose these measures is our duty and responsibility." CDI reserves the right to extend Baffert's suspension if there are additional violations in any racing jurisdiction.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission is solely responsible for disqualifying MEDINA SPIRIT as the winner of the 147th Kentucky Derby. KHRC is pursuing the completion of its investigation of this matter.