Bob Baffert suspended from home of Kentrucky Derby after Medina Spirit’s failed drug test confirmed

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended from the home of the Kentucky Derby for two years after Medina Spirit’s positive post-race drug was confirmed, the company that runs the Louisville racetrack said Wednesday.

The suspension, effective immediately, follows the confirmation of the Derby winner’s positive test earlier Wednesday by Baffert’s attorney, Craig Robertson.

Churchill Downs Incorporated (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.”

The suspension, which includes trainers directly of indirectly employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables, is effective through the conclusion of the 2023 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs Racetrack, CDI said.