Medina Spirit and Bob Baffert
A new hearing officer has been named for the appeal of Bob Baffert’s 90-day suspension and Medina Spirit’s 2021 Kentucky Derby disqualification resulting from a failed drug test, according to the Daily Racing Form.
Eden Davis Stephens, the deputy director of the Kentucky Office of Administrative Hearings, will replace Clay Patrick. Patrick recused himself from the case last month after attorney Clark Brewster, who represents Medina Spirit’s owner Amr Zedan, told the Paulick Report he unknowingly bought a horse at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale that was co-owned by Patrick.
Patrick conducted a six-day hearing of Baffert’s case in August, and was expected to make a recommendation on the appeal to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission within 60 to 90 days.
Zedan appealed the disqualification of Medina Spirit – who has since died – and Baffert wants the $7,500 fine and 90-day suspension he already served erased. Medina Spirit was disqualified after a positive test for betamethasone, which Baffert and Zedan attorneys said resulted from an ointment used to treat a skin rash on the colt.
The next steps in the case remain unclear at this point: Stephens may either conduct another hearing or use the transcripts from the first appeal and make a recommendation based on that.
The recommendation would then go to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, which can accept, reject or amend it. It remains to be seen if any commission members, a number of which have directly or indirectly conducted business with Baffert and/0r Zedan, will recuse themselves from the matter.
Read more at the Daily Racing Form.
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