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Thoroughbred Owner Fighting to Name Horse 'Bad Test Bob' After Bob Baffert

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 29, 2021

Trainer Bob Baffert at a press conference after Medina Spirit won the 147th Running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Medina Spirit won the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday evening, awarding a seventh Kentucky Derby win to Baffert and a fourth to jockey John Velazquez. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Thoroughbred horse owner Jerry Jamgotchian said he'll continue to fight for the right to name one of his colts "Bad Test Bob" in reference to longtime trainer Bob Baffert.

Jamgotchian told Tim Sullivan of the Louisville Courier Journal on Friday he's expecting around $100,000 in legal fees to challenge the Jockey Club's refusal to certify the name.

"The Jockey Club, just like all these other jackasses in California, they want to protect Baffert," Jamgotchian said. "As soon as we get through this, I'm going to federal district court and filing a civil rights action. ... And they're going to get smoked."

Baffert has come under fire after one of his horses, Medina Spirit, tested positive for the banned substance betamethasone after winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby in early May.

Medina Spirit was allowed to run in the Preakness Stakes, finishing third, but Baffert has been suspended by Belmont Park, meaning none of his horses can run in the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, on June 5.

Churchill Downs, the host track of the Kentucky Derby, is awaiting the results of Medina Spirit's split sample before making a final decision about this year's Run for the Roses. Mandaloun would become the race's winner if the Baffert colt is disqualified.

The Associated Press reported Medina Spirit was the fifth Baffert horse to record a positive drug test since May 2020.

Jamgotchian told Sullivan he's fighting for everybody else's right to name their horses as they see fit just as much as his desire to get the Bad Test Bob name.

"This is just the right thing to do," he said. "People should have the right to name whatever they want as long as it’s not obscene. You want to take a shot at somebody, take a shot at somebody."

Jamgotchian added he's also fighting a second case surrounding the name Malpractice Meuser, which was inspired by Baffert attorney Michael Meuser. That name was approved in the United Kingdom, but the Jockey Club refused to sanction it in the U.S.

Jockey Club standards say registration can be denied if horse names "appear to be designed to harass, humiliate or disparage a specific individual, group of individuals or entity," per Sullivan.

"I think Bob Baffert has already disparaged his own name. I don't think Jerry Jamgotchian is going to disparage his name any more than Bob Baffert has," Jamgotchian said.

Baffert is a 17-time winner in Triple Crown races, and he's trained the only two Triple Crown champions of the past 43 yearsβ€”American Pharoah in 2015 and Justify in 2018.