Bob Baffert Blames “Cancel Culture” After Churchill Downs Suspends Him for Allegedly Doping Horse

The renowned horse trainer is still planning to run Derby winner Medina Spirit in Saturday’s Preakness

Horse trainer Bob Baffert
Horse trainer Bob Baffert.
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty

In what is seemingly becoming commonplace for white men of a certain age, Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert blamed “cancel culture” for his own apparent misdeed.

After Baffert’s horse Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby last weekend and subsequently tested positive for the steroid betamethasone following the race, Churchill Downs immediately suspended Baffert from entering any horses at the famous racetrack.

“Churchill Downs will not tolerate it,” the track said in a statement. “Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack. To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner.”

Baffert, who denied any knowledge of how the substance got in the horse’s system and said he plans to dispute the test, had some laughable comments while defending himself on Monday during an appearance on America’s Newsroom With Bill Hemmer & Dana Perino on Fox News.

“Churchill Downs came out with that statement — that was pretty harsh,” Baffert said. “With all the noise … We live in a different world now. This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they’re reviewing it. I haven’t been told anything. I want to protect my legacy. I’ve trained great horses. I’ve trained the best horses that have run through there. My record proves it. This is horrible what has happened. The horse never got that medication. It’s an injustice to the horse. He’s a great horse. He ran hard. He deserved to win that race and it kills me because these horses are like my children and for something to happen to him like that is horrible but we have to deal with it and hopefully it will get resolved.”

With the Preakness Stakes set for Saturday, Medina Spirit — Baffert’s fifth horse known to have failed a drug test in just over a year — is still expected to run. However, officials at Pimlico Race Course or Maryland’s racing commission could still move to prevent Medina Spirit from running in the second leg of the Triple Crown. Since the Derby runner-up, Mandaloun, is not going to the Preakness, the Triple Crown pursuit for 2021 would end if Medina Spirit does not run on Saturday.

At this point, it is unclear how long it will take Kentucky officials to determine whether the results of the Derby should stand or change based on Medina Spirit’s positive test.

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