Bob Baffert should have no place in horse racing. Horse racing is a sport that is entirely dependent on an animal who, while physically stronger, is at the whim of their owners, trainers and sometimes jockeys. Race horses do so much hard work on the track, and often suffer shortened life spans because of all that hard work.

Medina Spirit, the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby who has been making controversy in the horse racing world as well as general sports realm, died back in December due to a heart attack.

Bob Baffert

Bob Baffert at fault

 

Trainer Bob Baffert claims that Medina Spirit’s barn was “devastated” by the horse’s death and talked about how he was a “member of the family”. It’s interesting to hear Bob Baffert say those things after he’s arguably the one responsible for the thoroughbred’s death.

Baffert pumped Medina Spirit with foreign substances which first caused mass suspicion that Medina Spirit’s performance had not been on the up and up. An animal does not have a say in what’s put into their body and Bob Baffert took full advantage of this fact.

Medina Spirit was a three year old horse who died of a heart attack. Considering the average life expectancy for a racehorse can be as long as 30 years old, a three year old dying of a heart attack should raise more questions than the substance abuse in races.

Since that contentious 2021 Kentucky Derby, it has been confirmed that Baffert used foreign and illegal substances on Medina Spirit. This is undeniably abusive toward Medina Spirit and just shows a blatant disrespect for the rest of the trainers, owners, jockeys and other horses who aren’t on illegal substances.

Last week Medina Spirit was posthumously ripped of his Kentucky Derby win and Baffert has been fined and suspended in the wake of this. The fine is $7500 and the suspension is 90 days. This is embarrassing considering what Baffert has tied himself up with.

Baffert is arguably responsible for the death of a horse and for cheating on a Triple Crown race. It’s hard to fathom how professional horse racing and Churchill Downs can justifiably allow him to have a place in this world any longer.

Baffert has shown that he is not to be trusted when it comes to the responsibility of owning and training a pro race horse.

While no definite cause of death has been determined, it’s very hard to look at this and not understandably point the proverbial finger at Baffert. He was the trainer for both American Pharaoh and Justify. He’s an incredibly successful trainer, but this has left a permanent and ugly stain on his legacy.

Medina Spirit’s legacy

Check out this story written by Tom in October 2020

The runner-up to Medina Spirit, Mandaloun and those around him have now been given the crown of 2021 Kentucky Derby winners. Those who bet on Mandaloun will, however, not be given what should have been their rightful winnings.

While it’s good that Medina Spirit’s victory was overturned, and the right horse was crowned winner, one cannot help but feel sorry for him.

He’s just the third horse in the history of the Derby to be disqualified, and even worse, he died at just three years old. This is obviously not Medina Spirit’s fault, and should be a permanent strike on Baffert’s ability to train horses again.

Medina Spirit should not be thought of as a cheater, but rather the unfortunate victim of a corrupt and greedy trainer who pushed the horse to its limit with no regard for its health.

Medina Spirit should be proof as to why Baffert should have lost his ability to be involved in professional horse racing any longer.