Has Bob Baffert Killed Horse Racing? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
The horse racing world was shaken to its core Sunday when it was announced 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test. The horse’s trainer, Bob Baffert, was quickly banned from entering any horses at the famed Churchill Downs while investigations continue. Sadly, however, even if proven guilty, having one of the most high-profile trainers in their sport embroiled in a drug scandal will never be enough to shut down the sport, because horse racing makes too many people, and governments money.
The substance found in Medina Spirit is called betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug that is not against horse racing rules in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. At issue is the amount of the drug that was found in the blood/drug test performed after Medina Spirit’s victory at the Kentucky Derby.
Bob Baffert stated:
“We didn’t have anything to do with it. Don’t know how it got in his system. Is it a mistake or something? We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” yet another horse, Gamine, also tested positive for the same drug last fall after racing in the Kentucky Oaks. It is worth noting that Media Spirit and Gamine are stablemates.
A split sample from the Kentucky Derby winner will now be tested to verify the results of the first test; if it also comes back as a failed test, Medina Spirit will be stripped of its Derby victory, and Mandaloun will be declared the winner. Baffert announced that Medina Spirit will be entered into the May 15th Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing’s triple crown.
It is clear that when it comes to our own entertainment, most people are willing to turn the other way when it comes to horse racing scandals. From jockeys fixing races to ensure paydays for each other to having a giant in the industry have 30 horses test positive for drugs during his career, the governing bodies of horse racing are there to keep the illegal activity to a minimum, and out of the headlines, not to stop it altogether.
It would simply be too much of a financial blow to Kentucky if the horse racing business was shut down. So, as they have done before, they will pay lip service to this scandal, perhaps even go so far as to strip a Kentucky Derby winner of its rose wreath, but people like Bob Baffert will be allowed to continue doing what they do since the gravy train can never stop for those who rely on horse racing for their jobs or tax revenues.
The only way a sport that sees its competitors compelled to perform, drugged up to do it, and even die in their efforts to become part of the history is if the sport is no longer glorified by celebrities or relied upon for jobs or millions for those at the top of the game like Bob Baffert is. Only when the public takes a stand and says enough is enough will horse racing either be forced to clean up its act or be shut down once and for all. Without being able to ask the horses themselves, the choice should be made for them and horse racing should be ended once and for all; otherwise those who are outraged by what this scandal, the last scandal or the next one will do for the business’s reputation will forever need to accept that not one or a thousand Bob Bafferts will be able to kill horse racing … and we have no one to blame but ourselves for it.
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Has Bob Baffert Killed Horse Racing? | TooAthletic.com
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