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NYRA panel cuts Bob Baffert suspension to one year

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In considerably of a small victory, coach Bob Baffert had his proposed two-year ban from racing in New York lowered to at least one yr by a three-person panel appointed by the New York Racing Assn. Baffert can resume racing horses within the state on Jan. 26, which means he’s eligible to take part in subsequent yr’s Belmont Stakes.

Baffert can also run within the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore however remains to be barred from working at Churchill Downs, house of the Kentucky Derby. He was banned by Churchill Downs for 2 years after former Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a legal anti-inflammatory, however not authorized on race day. Baffert can run at different Kentucky tracks, together with Keeneland, house of this yr’s Breeders’ Cup.

Baffert is at present serving a 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Fee for Medina Spirit’s optimistic take a look at outcome and can return to coaching on July 3. The suspension is honored by all tracks, together with these in Southern California.

Craig Robertson, Baffert’s Kentucky-based legal professional, mentioned he had no remark presently.

“This was an neutral and deliberative course of that has resulted in a prolonged suspension of the game’s most distinguished coach,” David O’Rourke, NYRA’s president and chief government mentioned. “Nonetheless, this isn’t merely about Bob Baffert or anybody particular person however about defending the integrity of the game right here in New York. [Thursday’s] choice advances that purpose.”

Baffert was given credit score for 59 days hserved whereas underneath a short lived suspension earlier this yr and the 90-day suspension he’s at present serving.

O. Peter Sherwood, a retired New York Supreme Courtroom decide, was the preliminary listening to officer who made a nonbinding advice of a two-year suspension. It took the panel two months to give you this ruling. Baffert has not had any optimistic treatment checks in New York. He typically sends a few horses to Saratoga’s summer time assembly however isn’t an enormous participant in New York racing.

In different Baffert authorized information, his enchantment with the KHRC to revive Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby win was moved from June 28 to Aug. 22. It’s anticipated that many of those authorized instances shall be determined exterior state regulatory businesses and within the civil courts.