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NYRA suspends Bob Baffert from Belmont Stakes: ‘In the Best Interests’ of Horse Racing

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The New York Racing Association has suspended trainer Bob Baffert from entering or stalling any horses at its tracks.

The NYRA announced Monday the temporary suspension was necessary to protect the integrity of the sport.

“In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants,” said NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke. “That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing.”

With Baffert’s suspension, Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit won’t be allowed to run at the Belmont Stakes — the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. Derby host Churchill Downs is waiting on the results of a second drug test after Medina Spirit tested positive for banned steroid betamethasone, Yahoo Sports reports.

“In addition to the ongoing investigation into Medina Spirit’s victory in the Kentucky Derby, NYRA has taken into account the fact that other horses trained by Mr. Baffert have failed drug tests in the recent past, resulting in the assessment of penalties against him by thoroughbred racing regulators in Kentucky, California, and Arkansas,” the statement reads.

During the suspension, NYRA will not accept entries or provide stall space to any individual employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables.

The Belmont Stakes is set to take place on June 5.


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Written by Meg Turner

Meg graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter at @Megnturner_ and Instagram at @Megnturner.

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  1. Three big items to address:

    Would NYRA have taken this action if Medina Spirit had won the Preakness and the Triple Crown was on the line? We’ll never know, but doubtful.

    What will 1/ST Racing (the owners of Pimlico, Santa Anita, Gulfstream and Golden Gate Fields) now do? Can Belinda Stronach and Craig Fravel handle the heat?

    Will Baffert be allowed to run in the Breeder’s Cup races at Del Mar? Del Mar is a state-owned fairgrounds that leases the track to the DMTC.

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