Statement by Mary Irby, Animal Wellness Action Group: “We applaud Judge Thomas Wingate for upholding the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s suspension of notorious trainer Bob Baffert that will help prevent him from running horses in the 148th Kentucky Derby and participating in the 2022 Triple Crown events. Baffert has snubbed the rule of law and evaded the consequences of his actions for far too long – the run for the roses will be paved with more credibility than we’ve seen in many years if Baffert and his horses are not present.
American horse racing has been plagued by Baffert’s scandals time and time again, and while justice in the tragic life and death of Medina Spirit may be never be fully served, it is important that we recognize and uphold meaningful penalties and punishment for those who seek to rig the system and cheat the betting public. Unlike the Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong’s of the world, horses have no voice or choice in what substances or drugs are impacting their performance or welfare.”
Animal Wellness Action led the charge on the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the animal protection space working with coalition partners such as The Jockey Club, NYRA, The Breeders’ Cup, Water, Hay, Oats Alliance, and Stronach Group, and I testified before Congress at the 2020 hearing on the legislation. We’ve also previously weighed in on the medication issues surrounding Medina Spirit’s Derby win here, here, here, and here.
Glad to chat further or interview if that would be helpful as well.
All the best,