Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert, a two-time Triple Crown winner, will not be allowed to enter horses at the home of his biggest victories. Today the New York Racing Association suspended Baffert from all tracks in the state of New York which includes Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes.
Baffert posted two horses in the Preakness Stakes on last Saturday, with Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit showing for third while Concert Tour was ninth in the ten-horse field. Medina Spirit’s win at Churchill Downs is still being disputed, and will likely be overturned by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission when a second blood sample is returned from the lab. The first sample tested positive for betamethasone, which is a legal substance in Kentucky, but only if it clears the system of a horse before racing.
It will be up to Medina Spirit’s owner Amr Zedan if he wants to continue to participate in the race without the services of Baffert. Jimmy Barnes, the longtime assistant trainer to Baffert, was in charge during the weeks leading to the Preakness as his boss decided to stay back in California instead of attending the Run for the Black-Eyed Susans.
Baffert has won the Belmont Stakes three times: Point Given in 2001, and then with two completed Triple Crowns via American Pharoah in 2015, and Justify in 2018.
Preakness Stakes winner Rombauer arrived today at Belmont Park in preparation for the race on June 5th.