It is unclear if the Kentucky horse racing fee’s investigation might be concluded earlier than these races. If the optimistic take a look at is upheld, the homeowners of Gamine could have to forfeit the $120,000 she earned for ending third within the Oaks. Baffert might face anyplace from zero to 365 days’ suspension, relying on how the fee views his historical past or whether or not it determines that there have been mitigating circumstances.
It has been a tumultuous yr for Baffert.
In May, Gamine and a colt named Charlatan, who gained a division of the Arkansas Derby, examined optimistic for lidocaine, a native numbing agent. Arkansas regulators suspended Baffert for 15 days, and the horses’ homeowners had been ordered to forfeit their prize cash — $300,000 within the case of Charlatan. The proprietor of the Gamine was ordered to forfeit a $36,000 first-place examine gained in an allowance race earlier that day, May 2. The suspension was to run from Aug. 1 to 15.
Last yr, The New York Times reported that Justify — additionally skilled by Baffert — had failed a drug take a look at after successful the 2018 Santa Anita Derby, almost a month earlier than the Kentucky Derby. The rule on the time required that Justify be disqualified, forfeiting each his prize cash and his entry into the Kentucky Derby.
California racing officers investigated the failed take a look at for 4 months, permitting Justify to maintain competing lengthy sufficient to win not solely the Derby, but additionally the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to develop into the 13th Triple Crown winner.
In August 2018, after Justify’s breeding rights had been bought for $60 million, the California Horse Racing Board — whose chairman on the time, Chuck Winner, had beforehand employed Baffert to prepare his horses — disposed of the inquiry altogether throughout a uncommon closed-door session.
The board dominated that Justify’s optimistic take a look at for the banned drug scopolamine had been the results of “environmental contamination,” not intentional doping.
Next week California regulators will conduct a listening to to resolve whether or not to erase Justify’s Santa Anita Derby win and pressure his homeowners to forfeit the $600,000 first-place examine. The listening to is a part of settlement of a lawsuit introduced towards the California Horse Racing Board by the proprietor of the second-place finisher, Bolt d’Oro.