Baffert angry in recorded calls after Medina Spirit drug test

We’re just days away from the Kentucky Derby, and a Hall of Fame trainer will not have a horse in the race.
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 9:38 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re just days away from the Kentucky Derby, and a Hall of Fame trainer will not have a horse in the race.

In February, Bob Baffert was suspended for 90 days by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission after a months-long investigation into the failed drug test of 2021 Kentucky Derby winner, Medina Spirit.

We’re now hearing audio from a series of phone conversations with Baffert recorded by the commission. These recordings were obtained by our sister station, WAVE, in Louisville.

The conversation took place just two days after Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone.

In the call, Baffert denies responsibility for the failed drug test, and even tried to put the blame on someone else.

In the nearly 15-minutes phone conversation, the embattled horse trainer, Baffert, claims he was being targeted, and did nothing wrong.

“I didn’t do anything wrong on my part, but I’m going to have to take that,” Baffert said in the call. “And… I’ve about had it, about had it with Kentucky. I mean, this is - this is ridiculous, you know? This is not right. And somebody f----- me, in the test barn, or… there’s something going on.”

In the tapes obtained by WAVE 3 News, Baffert said someone is out to “destroy him,” and state race officials were wrong about the tests.

“This is going to be it for me,” he said in the recordings. “I’m just going to fight it until … the end and it’s criminal, whatever is going on. I don’t know if it was in the lab. Somebody’s out to destroy me and this is not right.”

Baffert has repeatedly claimed the betamethasone was from a topical lotion, and was not against any rules, like injecting is.

“There’s something going on in Kentucky that’s not right,” Baffert said in one recorded call. “And now you’re going… to drag me through the mud. There is something drastically wrong with what’s going on, because this sounds like… just a setup deal to me.”

An attorney for the Baffert family told our sister station that Baffert was not aware the phone calls were being recorded, and they were recorded illegally.

The statement went on to say:

“These secret recordings reveal a fundamental contradiction in the false narrative that KHRC and Churchill Downs have pushed about Bob. They show a man who cares deeply about the integrity of racing and who from the beginning called for a full and fair investigation into Medina Spirit’s positive test.”

In addition to the Kentucky racing ban, the New York Racing Association and the California Horse Racing Board also issued bans against Baffert.

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