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Horse trainer Bob Baffert banned from racing horses in New York state through at least July 2

Horse trainer Bob Baffert
Lucas Willard
/
WAMC News
Horse trainer Bob Baffert (middle), speaking in Saratoga Springs in July 2021 just prior to the start of the racing season there.

Well-known horse trainer Bob Baffert has been banned from running horses in races in New York state through at least July 2.

The ban came down from the NYS Gaming Commission on Monday, which noted that Baffert’s 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission was recently upheld in court.

New York is one of 38 states that honors out-of-state suspensions issued by regulators.

His suspension is the result of medication violations involving some of his horses, including Medina Spirit. That horse, who placed first in the 2021 Kentucky Derby was disqualified and later died.

Baffert has been under scrutiny for his history of training horses who fail drug tests. In the case of Medina Spirit last year, he denied any wrongdoing.

A statement from Animal Wellness Action, an animal rights group, applauded the decision by the NY State Gaming Commission, saying that what it calls, “Baffert’s flagrant disregard for the rules” have resulted in “this long overdue consequence.”

This story includes reporting by NPR.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.