Bob Baffert Suspended 1 Year by NYRA for Repeated Medication Violations

Erin WalshJune 23, 2022

DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 05: Trainer Bob Baffert looks on in the winners circle after his horse Corniche won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Del Mar Race Track on November 05, 2021 in Del Mar, California. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Legendary trainer Bob Baffert has been handed another suspension, this time by the New York Racing Association, according to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

The NYRA suspended Baffert for one year for repeated medication violations. However, he has already been credited for time served and will be eligible to return to training horses in January.

NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said in a statement:

"This was an impartial and deliberative process that has resulted in a lengthy suspension of the sport’s most prominent trainer. 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."

The NYRA suspension only applies to the tracks it operates: Belmont Park, Saratoga Race Course and Aqueduct Racetrack. Baffert has won the Belmont Stakes three times, including twice with Triple Crown winners.

Baffert had already received a 90-day suspension issued by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission as a result of Medina Spirit testing positive for a banned substance after winning the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The horse tested positive for betamethasone, which is legal to use in Kentucky but banned on race day. Baffert was fined $7,500 and Medina Spirit's victory was forfeited.

In addition to a suspension from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, Baffert received a two-year suspension from Churchill Downs.

Sean McCarthy and Tim Yakteen have taken over training of Baffert's horses.

Baffert is one of the most successful trainers in history. His horses have won the Kentucky Derby six times, the Preakness Stakes seven times, the Belmont Stakes three times and the Kentucky Oaks three times.

When Baffert is eligible to return to racing, he'll likely add to his legendary record.