It Ain’t Over Yet: Bolt D’Oro Connections File Appeal In Justify Scopolamine Case

Just eight days after the California Horse Racing Board decided it would not disqualify Triple Crown winner Justify from his win in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby due to a scopolamine positive, connections of Bolt d’Oro, the runner-up in that race, have filed an official appeal to overturn that decision. According to the Thoroughbred Daily News, CHRB executive director Scott Chaney revealed the appeal at the outset of the board’s Thursday meeting, and indicated that the appeal would be considered during a closed-door session on Jan. 21.

“The board of stewards at Santa Anita issued a [Dec. 9] decision in which they concluded that a disqualification was not appropriate,” Chaney said during the CHRB meeting. “I made the decision not to appeal that ruling. The board has since received a request to appeal and overturn that decision from the connections of the second-place finisher in the race in question, Bolt d’Oro. The board will decide whether to entertain that request during the executive session at the January board meeting.”

The CHRB initially faced public outcry when a New York Times report published in September of 2018 revealed that post-race samples from both Justify and his Bob Baffert-trained stablemate Hoppertunity, winner of the 2018 Tokyo City Cup, contained scopolamine. Prior to its publication, the CHRB made the decision in a closed-doors executive session during the summer of 2018 not to pursue disciplinary action or disqualify horses after a cluster of positive tests for scopolamine across multiple barns, which CHRB staff determined was a result of exposure to jimsonweed in hay.

In January of 2020, Bolt d’Oro’s owner Mick Ruis filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court asking for a writ ordering the CHRB to set aside its decision to dismiss Santa Anita Derby winner Justify’s positive test in the Santa Anita Derby and to order disqualification of Justify with a redistribution of the purse.

The CHRB’s settlement of that civil suit included an agreement to file a complaint seeking disqualification of Justify from the 2018 Santa Anita Derby. Connections of Justify and Hoppertunity subsequently filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the stewards from hearing the case. The application for that restraining order was denied.

The hearing was held on Oct. 29, 2020, and the CHRB handed down its decision to dismiss the complaint on Dec. 9.

Now, another closed-door session of the CHRB will determine whether Ruis’ appeal will be considered.

The post It Ain’t Over Yet: Bolt D’Oro Connections File Appeal In Justify Scopolamine Case appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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