Bob Baffert’s Emergency Motion Denied by Appellate Court in Kentucky

April 2, 2022

Trainer Bob Baffert’s 90 day suspension is set to begin April 4th after the Appellate Court in Kentucky denied his emergency motion for a stay

What happens next now that Bob Baffert’s emergency motion is denied?

While trainer Bob Baffert fights for his legacy, career, and to convince the racing world a legal therapeutic ointment to treat a rash is not the biggest problem the sport of horse racing faces today, the forces against him mount to the point people celebrated his signs being removed from his barn at Santa Anita. Santa Anita removed the signs in accordance with a CHRB rule that requires same for any trainer suspended for a positive test for 60 days or more. Bob Baffert’s suspension for the Medina Spirit betamethasone positive is 90 days and with his emergency motion denied it will commence on April 4th.

This ruling has nothing to do with the lawsuit Bob Baffert filed against Churchill Downs for the two year ban they imposed on him. That ban is not reciprocal and would only impact Bob Baffert’s ability to have his horses compete at CDI owned and operated racetracks. The 90 day KHRC suspension is reciprocal.

The Kentucky Derby horses led by Messier have been moved to other barns so they can compete on the first Saturday in May. Former Bob Baffert assistant Tim Yakteen received Messier, Doppelganger, and McLaren Vale. Blackadder, was transferred to Rodolphe Brisset. At present it remains to be seen what exactly will happen with Baffert’s 50 stalls at Santa Anita and another 50 or so at Los Alamitos. It also remains to be seen where the remainder of the Baffert string go. The easiest course of action, and least disruptive to the horses might be to move them to Tim Yakteen and have them remain in their current stalls, and substitute Tim Yakteen’s signs for the removed Bob Baffert signs.

The CHRB rule calls for the horses to be conditioned by someone other than Bob Baffert’s assistant training staff. Would this preclude Tim Yakteen hiring Jimmy Barnes as an assistant due to the influx of horses? That is a legal question. Jimmy Barnes would certainly be as qualified as anyone and also knows the horses.

” CHRB rule 1843.3 states. “During the period of suspension, such trainer shall forfeit all assigned stall space and shall remove from the enclosures all signage, colors, advertisements, training-related equipment, tack, office equipment, and any other property.”

It is also important to note, and some will miss this point, the court denied the stay purely on procedural grounds and not on the merits of the case. The merits and facts of the case have yet to be decided by the courts, only by the court of public opinion. Irreparable harm is tough to quantify. It is a hard argument that even though Bob Baffert may very well weather thew storm and come back in the same form he left, that he did not suffer irreparable harm.

@jonathanstettin Nice piece and well articulated! Thanks for sharing your knowledge through your work!

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