Baffert’s lawyer, Clark Brewster, mentioned: “The criticism was despatched as a centerpiece for dialogue. It was supposed to generate trustworthy dialogue and keep away from litigation. There’s nothing unsuitable with the criticism. The details are in our nook. It has been rebuffed and so they have invited litigation, and that’s the place we will likely be.”
He didn’t say when or the place the criticism could be filed.
Churchill Downs is drawing a tough line in opposition to a person who has been a fixture there, signaling a serious break within the relationship between the storied observe and Baffert, a Corridor of Fame coach who has gained the Derby seven instances.
It comes at a time when the Triple Crown season is heating up and the search for qualifying factors to earn a spot within the Derby’s beginning gate is getting pressing. As soon as extra, the Baffert barn is loaded with gifted 3-year-olds successful essential races, however they don’t seem to be incomes qualifying factors to compete on the primary Saturday in Might.
Within the Sham Stakes on Jan. 1 at Santa Anita Park, the Baffert-trained colts Newgrange and Rockefeller ran first and second. Churchill Downs, nonetheless, has refused to award factors to any horses skilled by Baffert.
The Baffert camp had hoped to steer Churchill Downs to barter a settlement, relieving his house owners of getting to offer his horses to different trainers or threat lacking the Kentucky Derby. The race is just not solely prestigious, however a male Derby winner will increase his potential stallion worth by tens of tens of millions.
The dying of Medina Spirit doesn’t resolve whether or not his Derby victory will likely be allowed to face. Baffert’s legal professionals have challenged the check in federal courts, and the Kentucky Horse Racing Fee has but to carry a listening to. At stake for the horse proprietor Amr Zedan is the Derby’s $1.8 million first-place test, which will likely be awarded to the house owners of Mandaloun, the second-place finisher, if Medina Spirit’s victory is invalidated.
The coach’s repute and broader future within the sport are within the steadiness. This month, the New York Racing Affiliation will search a suspension of Baffert from its tracks earlier than a listening to officer.