A three-member hearing panel has made the decision to suspend Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert for one year, effective immediately, the New York Racing Association announced Thursday.
The horse failed a drug test after crossing the finish line first at the Derby, a race Baffert has won on six previous occasions.
Baffert, a two-time winner of horse racing’s Triple Crown, appealed the KHRC’s decision, but the Kentucky Court of Appeals denied his motion for emergency relief on April 1. His suspension started April 4.
According to a NYRA press release, following a two-month review of a 50-page report, the panel decided to suspend Baffert for 365 calendar days.
However, the panel credited Baffert with 59 days served after he was placed under temporary suspension by the NYRA in May 2021 on top of the 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Baffert’s NYRA suspension runs through January 25.
“This was an impartial and deliberative process that has resulted in a lengthy suspension of the sport’s most prominent trainer,” said Dave O’Rourke, president and CEO of the NYRA.
“However, this is not simply about Bob Baffert or any one individual but about protecting the integrity of the sport here in New York. Today’s decision advances that goal.”
Following last year’s Derby, Medina Spirit was found to have betamethasone – an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid sometimes used to relieve joint pain – in a blood sample. Kentucky horse racing rules don’t allow that and tell trainers to stop using the therapeutic 14 days before an event.
CNN has reached out to Baffert’s representation for comment.