Baffert-Trained Illumination Headed To Saratoga For Test

Trainer Bob Baffert plans to send maiden winner Illumination to Saratoga for this Saturday’s Grade 1 Test Stakes, reports the Daily Racing Form. It will be his first starter in New York since a judge overturned the New York Racing Association’s ban of Bob Baffert on July 14.

NYRA notified Baffert ahead of the Belmont Stakes that it was suspending his ability to enter horses in races or have stall space at its racetracks due to his recent history of medication violations (five over a one-year period), the conflicting statements he provided to media around the Medina Spirit scandal, and Churchill Downs’ suspension of the trainer.

Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the Eastern District of New York determined that NYRA’s suspension of Baffert should not have taken place without some sort of hearing allowing him to address the organization’s accusations against him. Although NYRA was asserting its private property rights in the case, Amon said the organization is closely entwined enough with the state that its suspension of Baffert constituted a state action, thereby requiring due process.

The Test Stakes will be held over the main track at seven furlongs and restricted to sophomore fillies. Baffert won the Test last year with Gamine, who is expected to ship to Saratoga for the G1 Ballerina on Aug. 28. The trainer is not expected to be in attendance for this Saturday’s race at Saratoga.

Illumination, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, broke her maiden on June 4 at Santa Anita by eight lengths, but has not raced since. That was her fifth career start, but first in over seven months, during which time co-owner George Bolton told DRF the filly was turned out and given time to grow up.

The $900,000 yearling purchase from the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select sale earned a Grade 1 placing as a 2-year-old in the Del Mar Debutante, finishing third. She is out of the stakes-winning, multiple graded stakes-placed Street Sense mare Light the City, from the family of Mastery, Two Step Salsa, and Top Commander.

Read more at the Daily Racing Form.

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

The post Baffert-Trained Illumination Headed To Saratoga For Test appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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