Baffert Loses Bid To Have NYRA Hearing Stayed

Embattled Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was unsuccessful in his bid to push back a hearing scheduled by the New York Racing Association about whether he should be prevented from racing there. U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon ruled in a hearing on Oct. 5 that Baffert could not hold NYRA in civil contempt and delay the administrative hearing, which has been scheduled for Oct. 11.

“We are gratified by the court’s decision allowing NYRA to move forward with its administrative hearing against Bob Baffert,” said Pat McKenna, senior director of communications for NYRA. “The court found that NYRA’s actions were consistent with both the letter and spirit of the July 14 order. NYRA’s focus in this matter is protecting the integrity of the sport of thoroughbred racing in accordance with the requirements of due process.”

Baffert had prevailed in a previous motion in a civil suit against the racing association, which informed him on May 17 that it was suspending his privileges to enter or stable at its racetracks in the wake of the uproar over a positive drug test from Kentucky Derby victor Medina Spirit. Judge Amon ruled in July that NYRA could not suspend a trainer without a hearing, and that not holding one violated Baffert’s rights to due process.

NYRA subsequently drafted rules and procedures for hearings it could use to determine whether it would revoke a trainer’s stabling or entry privileges at its tracks and informed Baffert and fellow trainer Marcus Vitali it was moving forward with plans to hold administrative hearings into their cases. Both had been scheduled for pre-evidentiary hearings in late September. Baffert then claimed that NYRA had constructed its hearing procedures just for him, and that the association’s intent to proceed with protocol to eject him was a “direct contravention” of the court’s order.

According to reporting from the Thoroughbred Daily News, Judge Amon made clear during oral arguments on Oct. 5 that her previous ruling had applied to NYRA’s attempt to suspend Baffert without a hearing, but did nothing to preclude the organization from holding a hearing.

After Judge Amon’s ruling in July, Baffert was once again permitted to enter horses at NYRA racetracks, and has done so, sending stakes runners to the Saratoga meet over the summer.

The post Baffert Loses Bid To Have NYRA Hearing Stayed appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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