Five Owners On The Verge Of Leaving Bob Baffert Over NYRA Ban, Legal Filing Reveals - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Five Owners On The Verge Of Leaving Bob Baffert Over NYRA Ban, Legal Filing Reveals

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert

According to the Thoroughbred Daily News, Judge Carol Bagley Amon ordered attorneys for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert to divulge specific names relating to his claim in a July 7 affidavit stating: “I have recently had conversations with other owners who have stated that they may move their horses to other trainers if the New York suspension continues.”

A one-page letter filed on Friday revealed five names: “Gavin Murphy of SF Bloodstock; Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing; Peter Fluor of Speedway Stable; Sol Kumin of Madaket Stables; and George Bolton.”

Judge Amon issued the order to reveal names of owners considering leaving Baffert's stable in response to the New York Racing Association's motion to strike the trainer's affidavit from the record.

Baffert filed suit against NYRA on June 14, nearly a month after the racing association notified the Hall of Fame trainer that he was temporarily banned from racing or stabling at NYRA tracks while the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission conducts its investigation into the post-race drug positive for Baffert-trained Medina Spirit, who crossed the finish line first in the May 1 Kentucky Derby. Baffert is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction against the ban.

As defendant in the case, NYRA filed a memorandum of law on June 30 in opposition to Baffert's motion for preliminary injunction. The Jockey Club filed a brief on that same date as amicus curiae, or friend of the court, claiming that its role as keeper of the Stud Book gives it a “unique interest in ensuring that when Thoroughbreds enter the breeding shed (where they determine the future of the breed through progeny), they do so with records uninfluenced by the effects of medication.”

On July 7, attorneys for Baffert filed their own memorandum of law, which consisted of 434 pages and included an affidavit from the trainer. In the memo, Baffert's attorneys allege that NYRA has “vindictively” targeted the trainer utilizing “hypocrisy” and “backdoor” tactics. The filing also zeroes in on two legal arguments: that the ban violates the trainer's right to due process, and that NYRA has no authority to issue a ban.

That same filing also details the exodus of horses owned by WinStar Farm from Baffert's stable as an example of the type of harm that the ban will cause to the trainer's livelihood.

Read more at the Thoroughbred Daily News.

Additional stories about Baffert's Kentucky Derby positive and ensuing legal battles can be found here.

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