Horse Racing

Baffert fails in latest attempt to block NYRA hearing


After failing in October to ask a federal judge to stop the New York Racing Association (NYRA) from conducting a January 24 hearing that could once again ban him from NYRA races, the coach Bob Baffert asked the hearing officer who would preside in the case to re-use and/or dismiss the proceeding altogether because the NYRA “created” the hearing process when they did not have the authority to do so. right to do so.

On Wednesday, police prosecutor O. Peter Sherwood said no to either motive.

So, starting Monday, at what is expected to be a multi-day hearing, Baffert must respond to a three-count complaint filed by the NYRA against him in the form of: “declaration of accusations”.

Those three counts correspond to Baffert’s alleged conduct that was or has been “to the detriment” of the three entities: 1) It is in the best interest of racing”; 2) Health and safety of horses and jockeys; 3) NYRA’s business operations.

Separately, the NYRA is defending itself in a federal lawsuit initiated by a Hall of Fame trainer with a public history of equine drug positives over whether the NYRA violated Baffert’s constitutional rights. not by trying to ban him outright without any kind of hearing in May. 17.

The NYRA is now taking an active move to dismiss that claim, but the judge has yet to issue a ruling, who heard arguments from both sides on Jan. 6. That dismissal motion is unrelated. directly to the no-court hearing on January 24 that Baffert had asked to avoid.

“Baffert argued that I had to reintroduce myself because: (i) he suggested, without any evidence, that I could have some substantial benefit in terms of the outcome of this procedure; and (ii) I have somehow demonstrated that I have pre-judged the merits of the hearing,” Sherwood wrote in the Jan. 19 ruling. “Both assertions are false. Not only is the refusal unwarranted, but compliance with the demands affects the effective administration of justice. “

Baffert caused a stir with the fact that the NYRA chose the rules of the hearing, the charges in it, and who would arbitrate it.

Baffert’s legal team argued through the January 12 denial motion that Sherwood “refused to disclose the complete and true extent of his relationship with the NYRA” and that “Sherwood was chosen after a clandestine process in the NYRA.”

The same filing also states, “Baffert’s competitors, some of whom raced directly against him in [GI] The Kentucky Derby have all their hands in the ‘progress.’

Despite that allegation, Baffert’s filing does not list any specific names of owners or trainers he believes may have conspired against him by attempting to influence the hearing.

The NYRA banned Baffert from returning 16 days after the now deceased Medina Spirit won the May 1 Derby while testing positive for a betamethasone residue. In the 12 months prior to the positive results, four other Baffert interns also tested positive for the average amount of the drug, two of them in Class I shares.

On July 14, the United States District Court (Eastern District of New York) issued a preliminary order to Baffert allowing him to race at New York’s premier racetracks pending the full resolution of the case. his.

While that ruling allowed Baffert to begin riding at Saratoga Racecourse, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racecourse, the NYRA also implemented the judge’s order to mean the association could proceed to draft new procedures. to hold hearings that may suspend licensees for causing bodily harm.

After those rules were made public, the NYRA, on September 10, wrote a letter summoning Baffert to appear at one such hearing, presenting him with a statement on the charges. .

On September 22, Baffert filed a motion asking a federal judge to hold the NYRA in civil contempt for attempting to schedule any kind of hearing that would again prevent him from participating under the law. follow NYRA. He claimed the NYRA’s action to initiate that kind of hearing was a violation of the preliminary order.

But on October 5, a federal judge dismissed Baffert’s “contempt” allegation, insisting that the NYRA could in fact proceed with the newly created hearing process because it was completely separate from NYRA’s May 17 initial attempt to deport Baffert.

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