Horse Trainer Banned From Entering Horses at Belmont Park

Horse trainer Bob Baffert was suspended Monday from entering any horses at New York racetracks [...]

Horse trainer Bob Baffert was suspended Monday from entering any horses at New York racetracks amid an investigation into Medina Spirt's failed postrace drug test at the Kentucky Derby, according to the Associated Press. Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby, but his drug test put the validity of the win in question. The ban includes races at Belmont Park with the Belmont Stakes taking place on June 5.

"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," NYRA president and CEO Dave O'Rourke said. "That responsibility demands the action taken today in the best interests of thoroughbred racing."

While Baffert was considering putting horses in other races of the day of the Belmont Stakes, he wasn't committed to having any in the third leg of the triple crown. But this is nothing new for Baffert, who has committed penalties in Kentucky, California and Arkansas, along with the situation with Medina Spirit. Craig Robertson, Baffert's attorney, said to the AP he is reviewing the decision made by NYRA and will discuss the situation and legal options with his client.

Medina Spirit tested positive for steroid betamethasone after the Kentucky Derby and could be disqualified if he tests positive for a second time. In an interview with Fox News last week, Baffert denied any wrongdoing.

"It did not happen," he said. "That horse has never been treated with it (betamethasone). Actually, it's a legal therapeutic medicine and the amount that was in it wouldn't have any effect on the horse anyway. But we don't … That horse was never treated with that and so that's the disturbing part of it. I never thought I'd have to be fighting for my reputation and the poor horse's reputation. Because of the new regulations the regulators have put, they're testing these horses at contaminated levels and it's been a horrible experience."

Baffert is one of the more recognizable trainers in horse racing as he's had seven horses win seven Kentucky Derbies, seven Preakness Stakes and three Belmont Stakes. "I want to protect my legacy," Baffert stated. "I've trained great horses. I've trained the best horses that have run through there. My record proves it. This is horrible what has happened. The horse never got that medication. It's an injustice to the horse. He's a great horse."