Horse trainer Bob Baffert claims that the controversy surrounding Kentucky Derby-winning horse, Medina Spirit, is an example of “cancel culture.”
Appearing on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Baffert insisted that he did not treat the horse with the drug it tested positive for after the Kentucky Derby ended.
“It did not happen. That horse has never been treated with [betamethasone]. Actually, it’s a legal therapeutic medicine, and the amount that was in it wouldn’t have any effect on the horse anyway. But we don’t,” Baffert told Fox. “That horse was never treated with that, and so that’s the disturbing part of it.
Baffert added that he is shocked that he is “fighting for my reputation and the poor horse’s reputation” and added that no violations happened.
“It did not happen, and that’s the really seriously troubling part of it,” he continued. “We hired investigators, but sometimes you never find out. It’s just a tragedy what happened in this race.”
Baffert added, “With all the noise … We live in a different world now. This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they’re reviewing it. I haven’t been told anything. We’re prepared to run.”
“We did not cheat to win the Kentucky Derby,” Baffert exclaimed.
“I want to protect my legacy. I’ve trained great horses. I’ve trained the best horses that have run through there. My record proves it. This is horrible what has happened. The horse never got that medication,” he added. “It’s an injustice to the horse. He’s a great horse. He ran hard. He deserved to win that race, and it kills me because these horses are like my children, and for something to happen to him like that is horrible, but we have to deal with it, and hopefully, it will get resolved.”
Baffert also said that the open farm system could naturally lend itself to troubles like this.
“These horses don’t live in a bubble,” Baffert explained. “They’re in an open farm. People are touching them. He went from the Derby to after the Derby everybody’s out there touching them. I mean there’s so many ways these horses can get contaminated, and when they’re testing at these really ridiculously low levels … I’ve been saying it for over a year now these are gonna get innocent people in trouble, and this is what happened now.”
For its part, after the accusations, the host of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, slammed Baffert.
“Churchill Downs will not tolerate it,” the statement said. “Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack. To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated, and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”
Baffert says he will run Medina Spirit in the next Triple Crown event.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.