Attorneys for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission pushed back in a Tuesday court filing against Bob Baffert’s attempt to convince the Kentucky Court of Appeals to stay his 90-day suspension.
The KHRC's response to Baffert’s request for relief, which he filed after a circuit court judge found he was not entitled to a stay, asked the appeals court to uphold the lower court's ruling.
The KHRC filing, obtained by Horse Racing Nation, disputed Baffert’s claim that he will suffer irreparable damages because of the 90-day suspension, the length of which would require him to disperse his stable in California.
Stewards in Kentucky handed down the suspension to Baffert in February, after the late Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone after the Kentucky Derby in May. The colt was disqualified from the race, and Baffert was issued a $7,500 fine along with the suspension.
The KHRC will hear Baffert’s appeal beginning April 17. In the meantime, the trainer has fought to get a stay of his suspension after his request for one was denied by the commission.
Judge Thomas Wingate of the Franklin Circuit Court denied Baffert’s request for a stay on March 17. The suspension is set to begin on Monday if the appeals court does not grant relief.
Baffert’s attorneys have claimed the appeal to the KHRC is pointless if he does not receive a stay of the suspension. The commission attempted to refute that point in its response.
The Court of Appeals docket did not show a scheduled hearing for the case as of Wednesday morning. If no stay is granted, Baffert's suspension will start on Monday.
Separately from the KHRC case, Churchill Downs Inc. filed a response Tuesday in federal court, pushing back on Baffert’s request to have the company’s two-year ban of him and his horses thrown out and to force CDI to honor Kentucky Derby points earned by his horses.