The only person to ever train two Triple Crown champions has been suspended from racing horses in the state of Arkansas for 15 days.
The horses in question, Charlatan and Gamine, failed post-race drug tests at Oaklawn Park on Arkansas Derby Day. Charlatan’s Arkansas Derby victory and Gamine’s allowance win have been stripped as stewards disqualified each horse and redistributed the purses from the races. Steve Asmussen’s Basin, who trailed by six lengths behind Charlatan, has been declared the winner of the Arkansas Derby.
Baffert continues to contest the failed drug tests. Multiple tests of the samples revealed trace elements of the numbing agent lidocaine, an aesthetic commonly used but forbidden on race day. Baffert’s lawyers claim the lidocaine can be attributed to a stablehand that improperly applied a lidocaine patch to his back before handling the horses on race day. Baffert was not in Arkansas the day the events transpired.
Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert reacts to being suspended in Arkansas after 2 horses tested positive for drugs. He will appeal. The 5-time KY Derby winner told me it was an accident. Microscopic levels. He wasn't there, but takes the blame. @wlky @HR_Nation @TracksideJennie pic.twitter.com/fMKCOyBkjl
— Fred Cowgill WLKY (@FredCowgillWLKY) July 15, 2020
Baffert’s lawyers will continue appealing the decision to the Arkansas Racing Commission. If upheld, Baffert’s suspension will begin Aug. 1.