Bob Baffert: “Why is it happening to me?”

I have long maintained that drugs in racing is given far too much attention. Yes, the (obviously) nonconsensual drugging and doping of racehorses is a wrong, but it’s only one of many – and not even close to being the worst. For the apologists, it represents an out: All we need do is clean up the meds, like baseball did with steroids, and all will be right with the world. For some advocates, it’s a clear case of missing the forest for the trees. Still, occasionally a drug rap is so big it merits all that attention.

By now, most of you have heard that Bob Baffert-trained Medina Spirit, this year’s Derby “winner,” has tested positive for the anti-inflammatory betamethasone. Even if the split comes back negative and this does not become only the second drug DQ in Derby history, watching the industry squirm and its biggest, most successful trainer go apoplectic will have been satisfaction enough. Mr. Baffert to Sports Illustrated:

“We did not give it to him. The vet, no one, has ever treated him with it. This is a gut punch for something I didn’t do. It’s disturbing. … I don’t know what’s going on in racing right now, but there’s something not right. I don’t feel embarrassed. I feel like I was wronged. We’re going to do our own investigation.

“I do not feel safe to train. It’s getting worse and to me, you know going forward, how do I enjoy training? How do I move forward, knowing something like this could happen? It’s complete injustice but I’m going to fight it tooth and nail. I owe it to the horse, to the owner and our industry. … These contamination levels—I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I know not everyone is out to get me—but there’s definitely something going on. Why is it happening to me?”

Why indeed, Bob. Why indeed.

76 Comments

  1. I have been waiting for this post…Baffert is thee worst! How did he get so many winners is the question, and the answer is drugging the horses. Baffert gets the best bred horses and they are pushed beyond what their baby bodies can take and drugs are the only way to fill this guys ego. It is disgusting. This story has to continue to be published and the pressure needs to continue to end the torture of these poor horses.

    • Katie – Santa Anita Park & Gulfstream Park Have Been Covering For Bob Baffert For Years!
      They Are Both Owned By Frank & Belinda Stronach?

      • Baffert knows exactly what is going on in his stables, just has enough layers to try to cover up his guilt. As far as Stronachs, Belinda wants out of it all. She has been wanting to sell for a long time. The cover up is the whole racing world who doesn’t want the truth out so they can keep up with their gambling ring. I think there are people who feel like a big shot when they can say they go to the races, own a percentage of a race horse etc etc. So much arrogance it is nauseating.

        • Katie – Spendthrift 2021 moving some of its horses from Bob Baffert’s barn – Some Going To Todd Pletcher & Some Going To Richard Mandella!

  2. Deny. Deny. Deny. That’s all he has left as a defense. Are we supposed to believe that Baffert doesn’t have 24 hour security at his barn? C’mon man!

  3. How bout the Belmont fire that killed horses? Any word on the cause of that? Bob of course does not surprise me in the least. What a low-life creepy industry. Animals and gambling are WRONG on every level. The End.

    • Don’t wait for that,my take on it,there will be no investigation or a sham one if that.NYRA will say their security investigated the fire and found no wrong doing and nothing suspicious.CASE CLOSED! Or they will accuse someone or anyone for being the guilty party or the negligent party. If you’re waiting for transparency from NYRA,that’s some booshit man!

      • The fire department is paid for with taxpayers money,so there is accountability to the people who pay their salaries….so, one would think they are mandated to give the taxpayers THE answer. Ny residents….DEMAND answers.

      • Bonnie – Ask Bob Baffert About The 7 Horses That He Trained Died On The Track?

      • Sophie – California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) revealed that Bob Baffert, a Hall of Fame trainer, had been giving every horse in his barn a thyroid hormone without ever checking to see if any of them had thyroid problems.

        • Now THAT is some SHIT. It doesn’t surprise me in the least. Bob is a CHEATER. Why do you guys think last year his 2 horses in the paddock and such were FLIPPING the F out. END this BULLSHIT.

        • It really does not matter to Baffert if the horse needs it or not. It was given to achieve one thing. To improve athletic performance. I think what most people don’t know is that this game of cat and mouse could go on forever. I would guess that many medications out there can have either a reverse action on a horse than it does on people. Many meds. may have an off label use that just might effect a horse’s athletic performance. Then there are some meds. that are what they are and just get abused and are not illegal to use,yes morally that’s wrong but look what these poor horses are dealing with. These horse people for the most part have a Wild West mentality running their show without law and order,because when there is enough money involved to payoff, they will payoff,it’s a culture that been like this forever. As an example: NYRA is a state sanctioned alleged criminal enterprise. There certainly will be no oversight from ALBANY. So it turns out to be survival of the fittest and everything goes. I had a thought maybe Baffert is clean in this Betamethasone claim,hey BOB next time use the PLACEBO EFFECT excuse,I do believe that theory works with horse’s as well with people. Tell that to the racing commissions and the media. I think it would work.OH! I read somewhere yesterday that the Betamethasone can give a horse a feeling of EUPHORIA…I think I’ll load up on some dermatitis cream. That rash on my butt crack is returning,oops I feel it coming on,gotta go.

  4. “…not even close to being the worst” is SO true! Even if a horse test results pass–under the allowed drug-level minimum–that still indicates there IS an issue that required a dose–he/she should not be raced until all drug tests are totally clean. There’s also the possibility that the clever “cover-up” drug(s) didn’t work–maybe that’s what “went wrong,” and Bob knows it.
    Two possible benefits of news/articles on this horse industry drug issue (or others) may be that (1) it resonates emotionally with the public who appreciate horses and are outraged when they learn what horseracing is all about; and (2) it seems a few (so far) national media outlets have picked it up. That may be enough of a nexus to trigger investigative journalism reports on the egregious “tools of cruelty.” I passed the info on to NBC (digital) over the weekend–no reply yet–and plan to send to others. FOX news media reported on it, but it appears to not conduct animal welfare investigations–its article was from AP.

    • Marilyn – Could Bob Baffert Be Another Pete Rose Taken Out Of The Hall Of Fame Forever?

  5. Interesting that not one syllable is mentioned anywhere about the Derby horses running sans Lasix and none of them bleeding to death as predicted. Also how many horses were whipped during that race and how many were struck for “safety”?

    • Gail – You Notice Trainers Are Using Lasix On All Their Horses After They Turn 3? Ban At The Age Of 2?

  6. Innocent, I don’t think so. He’s just mad because he got caught. Baffert, is only the tip of the iceberg.

    • Pam – Bob Baffert Got Caught Every Year – He Is Still Around – Sounds Like Lots Of Cover Up?

      • Don’t be surprised if Baffert gets off this time, too. The drug identified, betamethasone, is NOT illegal, the timeline is the issue.
        After all, this is a corrupt business policing the corrupt participants!
        Remember what Jorge Navarro, et al, got away with until federal law enforcement involvement.The federal indictments concern alleged roles in misbranding conspiracy to manufacture , distribute, and administer ILLEGAL drugs to the racehorses as well as mail and wire fraud.
        Racing policing itself is a bad joke, a total conflict of interest.

  7. Ahhhh, poor little Bobby….how he must hate getting caught! Giving babies drugs is just like HRW mentions so eloquently, it’s only part of
    an even bigger problem inside this horrific, archaic industry! END HORSE RACING!

    • Kate – Wait Until We Find Out Who Helped Bob Baffert All These Years?

  8. Bob “barbaric buffoon” Baffert says what any greedy, highly paid, narcissistic, sociopathic liar would say in a position that requires the use of drugs, both legal and illegal, to get the horses he abuses/trains to win races with various conditions ranging from everyday soreness caused by the everyday abuse/training and chronic pain from injuries to degenerative joint diseases to GENETIC PREDISPOSITION for lameness, diseases, and therefore, breakdowns in combination with the horrendous demands made on these vulnerable and innocent victims/horses. He makes me want to punch him in his filthy, lying mouth. Just saying. The OWNERS of the horses he abuses/trains pay him to win races and that means they pay Bob “barbaric buffoon” Baffert AND Craig Robertson, his attorney, to lie like the most disgusting gutter balls from hell just to win races, “prestige” and millions of dollars. It’s high time that more taxpayers/people realize what their taxes are paying for!!!! Stop all of the subsidized abuse and killing of racehorses!!!!

    #HorseracingisAnimalCruelty
    #endhorseracingNOW

  9. Directly below this post is (yet another) long list of horses NOT trained by Baffert, but who suffered and even died in the course of being raced, nonetheless. But those horses — along with the dozens more who won’t make the list because their tormenters had injured them in track training and other, similar grotesque activities — won’t be acknowledged outside this site.

    I mean, sure, Bob’s killed a lot of horses. But so has everyone else who’s been in this sick game for more than a few months. So, it’s kinda weird watching them condemn this one (admittedly creepy) guy for CHEATING IN THE GAME OF ANIMAL ABUSE.
    (As if they could create a level playing field for carnage, cruelty and torture.)

    • The great thing about all of this negative publicity regarding horseracing, even though there are thousands of people that don’t follow horseracing, is that it brings attention, from these same people, to a horrible reality that horses are so routinely abused that they even need any type of dope, drug or medication to relieve some (or all) of the pain and/or discomfort associated with the daily routine of race training. Race training is the sanitized term for racehorse abuse. As people who were not born into this industry of racing horses read or hear more and more about this “sport of kings” the thinking people will get a clue that it is barbaric and it needs to become outlawed and defunded in all 50 States of the USA. As far as that goes it needs to become outlawed and defunded all over the world, including the Akhal-Teke breed of Turkman horses being raced in China.
      This is real life we are dealing with and not a fairy tale.
      #HorseracingisAnimalCruelty

      • All The Top Racetracks Around The World Treated Bob Baffert Like A Hero For The Sport, But Something Didn’t Look Right Winning Too Many G1 Races?

        • Molly Julia, Baffert doesn’t do this for free. He gets paid to abuse and drug horses like there is no tomorrow. It’s called Return On Investment and his rich owners get richer at taxpayers’ expense. The worst thing BESIDES THE ABUSE AND KILLING OF HORSES is that the public is funding this horror show.
          #endhorseracingNOW

          • Dosen’t anyone realize that there are “FEDERAL” laws being broken here. Almost all of the gambling taken place on all of these “ tainted” and “fixed”races. We have become so accustomed to this fraud it’s accepted as normal. These races and bets being made are being made across state lines using telephone,computers every kind of wire fraud you can imagine.How is the DOJ letting these thieves get away with this,millions of dollars being bet with broadcasting,wire casting fraud from state to state and country to country.HOW?WHY?

      • Wanda – The barn’s Vet administers what Bob Baffert asked to give. Bob Baffert believes in raising thyroid hormone levels. Did all his horses need it? Doubtful. Does long term use of clenbuterol for other than short term treatment increase the likelihood of pulmonary disasters? Apparently it does.

        • Molly Julia, I know you said he “asked” the vet, but I believe that he ordered/told the vet to do it. There are many Racing Hall of Fame “trainers” that get that recognition by deliberately doping/drugging the horses they are paid to get to the winner’s circle. They don’t care about the quality of life for the horses. They don’t care about the longevity of the horses. They use them, abuse them, discard them. If the horses die or are killed on or near the track, it’s on to their next equine victim/s. How many trainers have nicknames regarding their routine doping of racehorses and drugging violations?
          1) “Teflon Bob” for Bob Baffert,
          2) Drug O’Needle for Doug O’Neill,
          3) ?

    • Kelly – It Would Be Nice To Take Away The Triple Crown Out Of The Record Books From Bob Baffert Winning With American Pharoah & Justify!

  10. Every single one of his comments were about him.
    I’m the big victim here aren’t I?
    Baffert is a pathological lying egotistical sociopath whose revered by a business that facilitates and promotes him and many other multiple doping “Trainers.”
    Again, it’s the racehorses who are the biggest victims and many have died under Baffert, most likely, due to doping beyond natural ability, doping to mask issues that become serious and eventually cost them their life.
    There are 2 sets of rules in horse racing.
    One for the all-white ole boys club like Baffert, Pletcher, Asmussen, Maker, Brown who get nothing for serious repeated doping violations, some for not paying their hired help while working them to the bone, and all of them killing racehorses like swatting away a fly.
    Then the other set of rules apply to everybody else who don’t have a hope in hell of winning a race unless they stuck plutonium rocket fuel up a racehorse’s ass in order to compete with these cheating purse thieves.
    Again, it’s the racehorses who pay the price and are forced to endure these creeps who would shove a kitchen sink down their throat if it meant winning at the detriment of the horses they claim to care for.
    Downright repulsive and this needs to end, the whole thing needs to slip into an abyss never to be seen again.

    • Gina – Everyone Was Treating Bob Baffert Like A King, But We Knew Something Was Going On?

  11. Bob Baffert 2021 Kentucky Derby Top 3 Horses In The USA?

    1. Life Is Good
    2. Concert Tour
    3. Medina Spirit

  12. Bob Baffert 2020 Kentucky Derby Top 3 Horses In The USA?

    1. Nadal
    2. Charlatan
    3. Authentic

    Do You See A Pattern?

  13. After checking the definition of this drug (Betamethasone is a corticosteroid that doctors use to treat skin conditions that cause inflammation and itchiness. People can use injectable or topical betamethasone.

    Betamethasone is available in different formulations, which range in potency from medium to super potent. Doctors will choose the most suitable betamethasone product for a person depending on their skin condition and the area of the body that it is affecting.”

    I wonder if someone actually applied this drug to the horse when no one was looking, perhaps trying to sabotage Baffert’s chances at another Derby victory. I’m certainly not a racing fan anymore. I stopped after Mongolian Groom’s tragic breakdown. I know I should have stopped after Ruffian’s horrible death in 1978. I’ll never forget that day or the subsequent days after. But, I didn’t have the knowledge (the evil truth!) about this dark industry until the last few years. I hope they disqualify the horse. No one wins with this kind of deception and law breaking! To see the demise of racing in my lifetime would be a dream come true–right up there with bullfighting and rodeo ( and the horrible “big-lick” walking horse classes!) God help us!

    • Ruffian died in 1975 and not 1978 after the match race with Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure.

        • Gulfstream could be, MJ. An ironically, it would have nothing to do with horses’ well being.
          That real estate is so valuable there that just by selling the joint, the Stronach’s will strike gold.

      • Fred – Bob Baffert is crucial in preserving the vitality of North American racing?

    • Lady – Bo Derek, CHRB Commissioner & personal friend of trainer Bob Baffert. Many believe she & her Board looked past suspicious activities relating to the “sudden deaths” of 7 Horses Bob Baffert was training at Santa Anita?

    • Lady – Thyro-L is a thyroid hormone (T4) used to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the body fails to produce a sufficient amount of thyroxine; the human equivalent is Synthroid. The intended result of the medication is to restore “normal” metabolic activity.

    • Meredith – Bob Baffert Said Medina Spirit was treated with ointment containing betamethasone before Derby?

  14. Oh, shut up, Bob Baffert. Cry me a river; you’re not mystified or sorry. You’re just sorry you got caught. I hope the sleazy business of horse racing suffers along with you – this inevitable trainwreck just goes to show that money can’t buy class.

    • Nina – It’s the same situation that bike racing was in before Lance Armstrong was ousted.

    • Jane – Bob Baffert said he quit using the drug last March after the seventh horse died. At least 1 study indicated that the drug can cause “cardiac alterations” in horses.

  15. This exposure of the reality of horse racing, even if short lived, will inform some who are not aware of the daily abuse of these beautiful creatures who deserve so much better.

    • Ahava – What needs to be done is a Well Known Trainer Like Bob Baffert needs to be ousted and severely punished. Punishing low end trainers and breeders will do nothing. But punish a big name and it sends a message.

      • The message that Bob Baffert is sending is that he should be treated like he is above the law and if y’all try to take that “free pass” to dope, drug, medicate horses to ENHANCE the horses’ PERFORMANCE at the increased risk of DEATH TO THE HORSE, well, then, it can’t be that he’s guilty of any wrongdoings! Oh, heck no! Not Bob Baffert, especially after he and his people partied for 7 days after Medina Spirit “won” the Kentucky Derby. How dare anyone take that away from this low-ball, horse-killing, money-grubbing “horse trainer” after he “worked” so hard? Boo-hoo! Oh, no, it’s…drum roll…Cancel Culture. Voila!
        He is so evil that he deserves to be cancelled, BUT SO DOES HORSERACING ITSELF DESERVE TO BE CANCELLED!!!
        #HorseracingisAnimalCruelty

  16. The apologists are going nuts over the “picograms” – ie, that surely such a small amount cannot enhance the horse’s performance and WHY does anyone care about a positive drug test of “only” picograms?!?

    If you’re getting the same question, the following is from Dr. Mary Scollay, ED of the RMTC in the article titled “Why Regulators Test For Picograms Of Betamethasone”;

    “The recommended withdrawal period in Kentucky for a betamethasone joint injection is 14 days, so no closer than two weeks before a race. The allowable threshold for betamethasone in a post-race test used to be 10 picograms, but that was changed last fall. Now, no trace amount is allowed.

    “When used as a joint injection, a typical dose of betamethasone would be nine milligrams, Scollay said.

    “‘But then that drug leaves the joint, enters the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body,’ she told HRN. ‘And remember that a racehorse has upwards of 50,000 mls (milliliters) of blood. So you’re not talking about 21 picograms [Medina Spirit’s level of betamethasone] in that entire horse’s body. You’re talking about 21 picograms in one ml of blood. And there’s 49,999 other mls of blood, not to mention all the other tissues, the muscles, the organs, the brain, the skin, all the other tissues of the body. That drug distributes throughout the entire body. So 21 picograms, you know, you can be a little overly reductive and say that’s nothing. But when you can contemplate the total sum of medication that may be in the body at that time point? It’s a different story.’

    “If 21 picograms (remember, 21 trillionths of a gram) were found in a single milliliter of blood, that means upwards of 1,050,000 picograms of betamethasone was circulating through the horse’s bloodstream at the time of the test. (That translates to 1.05 micrograms, or 0.00105 milligrams.)

    “Again, that doesn’t include the amount of the medication remaining in the horse’s tissues.”

    • Thanks for this very detailed and accurate explanation.
      It makes things crystal clear for anybody who looks to defend the doping and killing of racehorses that has been going on in Baffert’s racing stable for years.
      You can always count on the apologists to defend the most horrific acts of racehorse abuse and inhumane treatment because doping up a racehorse to either mask issues and/or outperform is exactly that.
      Then they spew out of their mouths that they care for the racehorses – laughable.
      Every single person involved in this business should make it clear that they want these doping, cheating “Trainers” out of their business if they truly cared about the racehorses.
      Then again, if they truly cared than they wouldn’t be in this business in the first place.

    • Joy – Ray Paulick Covered Up For Bob Baffert For A Long Time – Now He Has Barry Irwin Helping Him!

    • Joy – Levothyroxine has adrenaline-like effects including increased heart rate, palpitations, hypertension, tachycardia, nervousness and increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

  17. Why is it happening to you, Bob? Because you’re a serial horse abusing sadist who has neither a conscience or anything resembling a moral compass. You’ve spent your life living off the blood and misery of thousands of exploited and abused horse, and those you haven’t outright killed on the racetrack you’ve dumped into kill pens.
    It couldn’t happen to a creepier POS.

    • Rebecca – We All Know Why Kaleem Shah Left Bob Baffert – Bob Baffert & Kaleem Shah Part Ways!

  18. Well Teflon Bob got out of it yet again by being permitted to run in the Preakness.
    The Stronach Group has agreed to let him run.
    If another “Trainer” got just 1 of his 30 doping positives they would have been suspended.
    TSG knows that millions in wagering has been placed in gambling pools involving Medina Sprit and like I said TSG is corrupt so what more would you expect?
    A pile of manure has more integrity than horse racing.
    Not once is the well-being of Medina Spirit seem to be a consideration or mention.
    Baffert is grinning ear to ear like any sociopath who gets their way.

    • The dude seriously looks like he should be in a wood panel van outside an elementary school with a bag of candy in the seat beside him.
      Why do so many of these trainers look so………slimy?

      • Well, I think they are slimeballs, so why should they look any other way but slimy!?!

    • And Gina, you knew the colt was going to be permitted to run, I’m sure. No shocker there. It’s all a huge stinking pile of manure.

  19. Medina Spirit got post #3 for the Preakness on Saturday. Why don’t they just open the gate on #3 when the bell rings and leave the others stuck behind the gate? Sure win and on to triple crown.

  20. Let’s put things in perspective here forget about all of the doping violations and focus on the real victims of serial racehorse killer Bob Baffert.
    Myself along with some others have been documenting kills by certain “Trainers.”
    Bob Baffert, according to horse racing charts, direct eye witnesses, pro-horse racing articles, has killed at least 40 racehorses in 10 years and we can unequivocally list 18, but about 22 died during training some hidden deep in the CHRB records while others were supposedly killed during training some of which were not listed.
    We’ve compiled this list to the best of our ability, but if there are any corrections please let me know.
    Tiz Chrome (died during training after 3 starts), Tokubetsu (died in 4th start at Santa Anita on 4/17/2011), Gilded Gem (died during training), Irrefutable ($600,000 purchase died in training equine insurance reportedly in place), CJ Russell (died in training), Cash Empire (purchased for $245,000 died in training after just 1 start), an unidentified gelding, Tweebster ($300,000 purchase made $246,000 had obvious issues that should have negated retirement, but Baffert dropped him into claiming where he died after his last start), Miner’s Daughter (died in training after 5 starts), Take Control ($1.9 million purchase, died in training after 5 starts, in his last start he barely finished the race, equine insurance policy supposedly in place), Secret Compass ($425,000 purchase, horrific breakdown during Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies 11.2.2013 euthanized, equine insurance policy supposedly in place), Red Tesla (broke down at Santa Anita on 4/6/2014 euthanized), Socialbug (purchased for $300,000 died during training after last start on 5/26/2014 equine insurance policy supposedly in place), Gimme da Lute (made $627,560 died during training equine insurance policy reportedly in place), Arabian. Mourinho (purchased for $625,000 died during training after 5 starts equine insurance policy supposedly in place), Ten Blessings ( died on 4/21/2018 at Santa Anita horrific breakdown), Amada Rafaela (died in 2nd start at Santa Anita on 6/7/2018), Bowl of Soul ($400,000 purchase died in training after 2nd start equine insurance policy supposedly in place), In Deep ($475,000 purchase dies during training after 2nd start equine insurance policy supposedly in place).
    Here are the racehorses that disappeared or perhaps died during training that was never documented: Tiny Woods. Bull Creek, Mr Charlie ($725,000 purchase disappeared after 5 starts), Charm n Chuck, Fast Master ($435,000 purchase disappeared after 1 start), Quiet Invader ($370,000 purchase disappears), Red Door, Drive Marker, Down in Deep, Light Up ($400,000 purchase disappeared after 1 start), Blonde Fog, Lunada Bay, Abusive Power (disappeared after 1 start), Everton ($500,000 purchase disappeared after 6 starts), Rolling Fog, American Pride, High Drama (disappeared after 2 starts), Regulate, Show Me Da Lute.
    Bob Baffert – a serial racehorse killer that horse racing reveres, puts into the Racing Hall of (Sh)ame, permits him to continue training and racing even defends him when he gets caught.
    Every single racehorse listed above was a victim of Baffert despite what they say.

  21. I’ll never forgive Baffert for what the hell he did to Tweebster–and so many others.

    • The NBC crew and management televising this major horseracing event might not be too thrilled to have to scramble like crazy to cover up the carnage should MEDINA SPIRIT breakdown during the Preakness Stakes. On the other hand, I could be entirely mistaken. Maybe they will be thrilled? IF there is a breakdown during this “world class” race televised on national TV, it will bring attention to the horrendous demands made on these immature horses that are AGGRESSIVELY FORCED to perform as though they are adults. For people that don’t follow horseracing except for the Triple Crown races, it could be an eye-opening visual.

  22. HR 1754 that is why Bob. Federal commerce grab of equine generated assets.
    Authored by Paul Tonga (DNY) Diane Feinstein (DCA) and Andy Beshear (DKY) it is not about safety or integrity.
    Read the bill.
    It’s about the feds getting a bigger piece of the equine pie.

    • The summary mentions in part: “Among the required elements of the horseracing safety program are sets of training and racing safety standards consistent with the humane treatment of horses…”
      In the first place, forcing young horses to carry a saddle and RIDER and gallop FAST is inhumane. It’s inhumane to start training and racing immature colts and fillies and the Kentucky Derby is based on this FUNDAMENTALLY INHUMANE PRACTICE.

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