Gamine, Bob Baffert-Trained Filly, Reportedly Failed Drug Test After Kentucky Oaks
Posted on: October 22, 2020, 08:13h.
Last updated on: October 23, 2020, 11:13h.
Gamine, a stakes-winning thoroughbred trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, reportedly tested positive for a banned substance after her third-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks. The New York Times reported the story Thursday evening, citing anonymous sources. If true, it would mark the second time the 3-year-old filly failed a drug test within a four-month span.
It would also mark the 28th drug violation across all US racing jurisdictions by the trainer who has more than 3,000 career wins, including six Kentucky Derby trophies, seven Preakness Stakes victories, and two Triple Crown horses.
The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet tweeted earlier Thursday that one sample from the Grade I stakes race for fillies, which was run on Sept. 4 at Churchill Downs, came back for a “Class C medication.”
The Oaks day samples returned a finding for a class C medication in one (1) primary sample. The KHRC is following its regulatory process in conducting a follow-up investigation of this matter. Accordingly, the names involved will be released at the completion. 2/2
— KY Public Protection (@ppckentucky) October 22, 2020
The cabinet reported there were no positive cases from the Derby, which took place the following day. The Baffert-trained colt Authentic won that race, allowing the trainer to match Ben A. Jones’ record for six Derby wins.
In May, the filly and another Baffert horse tested positive for traces of lidocaine after winning races Oaklawn Park in Arkansas. The other horse was Charlatan, then a top Derby prospect, who won a leg of the Arkansas Derby. Both horses were disqualified and Baffert received a 15-day suspension.
A year ago, the Times reported that Justify, Baffert’s 2018 Triple Crown winner, tested positive after winning the Santa Anita Derby, a Kentucky Derby prep race that guaranteed the horse’s entry into the Run for the Roses. The California Horse Racing Board determined that the result was because of an accidental contamination of scopolamine in the feed for several horses.
The matter’s not settled, though. According to The Los Angeles Times, a court case set to start next week could lead to Justify’s disqualification and the loss of the $600,000 purse given to his connections.
The New York Times reported neither Baffert nor his attorney responded to messages seeking comment.
PETA VP Wants Severe Penalty if Baffert Guilty
Based on information from the Association of Racing Commissioners International, a third “Class C” violation, which Baffert would face if the report is correct and test results confirmed, carries a minimum fine of $2,500 and a minimum 30-day suspension.
However, an executive from animal welfare group PETA said in a statement to Casino.org Thursday night the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) should consider a more stringent penalty.
Twenty-eight medication violations represent 25 chances that Bob Baffert never should have been given to harm horses,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said. “PETA advocates for automatic license revocation after three drug violations. If the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission finds that Gamine was the victim of a medication abuse, it should take swift action to ensure Baffert never races in Kentucky again. The welfare of the horses, not the fame of the trainer, must be the first consideration.”
The week of the Kentucky Derby, PETA placed advertisements in several Kentucky news websites and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The organization urged bettors whose horses lost in the Derby to hold their tickets in case a horse that finished in the money tested positive. The ad campaign came after PETA helped a harness racing bettor secure a $20,000 settlement after claiming a doped horse that won a race prevented him from winning more than $30,000.
Favored Gamine Lost Oaks, Still Finished in the Money
Gamine was the heavy favorite in the Oaks last month after posting three convincing victories leading up to the race. However, in the Oaks, she faded down the stretch after leading for most of the race. She still finished third.
If the KHRC disqualifies Gamine, her owners stand to lose the $120,000 in purse money. However, Churchill Downs will not adjust any of the payouts to bettors from the race, which was deemed official moments after it ended.
Gamine paid $2.40 to show. She was also a part of winning 50-cent trifecta, 10-cent superfecta, and $1 super high five tickets that paid $58.40, $27.93, and $4,469.60 respectively.
Shedaresthedevil, a 15-1 longshot, pulled off the upset win in the Oaks, with Swiss Skydiver, who went on to beat the colts in the Preakness earlier this month, finishing second. The horses directly behind Gamine were Speech, who went off at 5-1, Tempers Rising, who had 46-1 odds, and Hopeful Growth, a filly with 37-1 odds.
In all, $10 million was bet on the Oaks this year, according to Churchill Downs figures.
Doping a Major Issue in Horse Racing
Drug testing has become a major issue in horse racing over the last couple of years, as the sport has faced criticism about the safety of the animals raced for sport. A month ago, the US House of Representatives passed the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which would nationalize racing safety standards and set up a drug-testing program under the auspices of the US Anti-Doping Agency.
Earlier this year, federal authorities charged more than two dozen individuals involved in horse and harness racing as part of an alleged doping scheme. Among those charged was thoroughbred trainer Jason Servis, who trained Maximum Security – the horse disqualified from winning the 2019 Kentucky Derby after stewards ruled he interfered with other horses.
Prosecutors claim Servis had the graded stakes champion colt injected with a performance-enhancing drug.
After the indictment, Gary and Mary West, Maximum Security’s owners, moved their colt out of Servis’ stable and into Baffert’s.
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Disqualify these horses: 2020 Kentucky Derby (Authentic-last), 2014 Breeders Cup Classic (Bayern/Toast of New York-last/3rd), 2019 Kentucky Derby (Country House-17th), and 2021 Kentucky Derby (Medina Spirit-last), 2002 Belmont Stakes (Sarava/Sunday Break 8th-11th), 1980 Preakness (Codex-2nd), 1962 Preakness (Greek Money-8th), 1953 Kentucky Derby (Dark Star-2nd), 2003 Belmont Stakes (Ten Most Wanted-3rd), 2004 Belmont Stakes (Birdstone-2nd), 1956 Kentucky Derby (Come on Red-6th), 2019 Belmont Stakes (Sir Winston-2nd), 2012 Kentucky Derby (Dullahan-7th), and 2000 Preakness Stakes (Red Bullet-2nd)
I want to know why Patsy would make a disparaging comment about the Wests and Baffert? I am, and have been in the industry since the 1970's starting out in the barn of JVB. We have literally spent time in every thoroughbred and quarter horse barn at the tracks across North America, Mexico and Canada. While we have witnessed our share willful violation of the law regarding mostly humans, not one person can lawfully provide one iota of proof that Bob Baffert nor his staff has ever unlawfully injected a horse. In addition, those of us in the industry have the utmost respect for Bob, his respect for the laws that govern racing, his compassion for humanity and his patience in training. When you have almost 40 years racing under your belt, training as many horses as the Baffert stable, you are going to have a few violations over a life time. And, myself "in the industry" know there are legal substances that linger beyond the time allotted before race day that can be a violation. So Patsy, until you post a legal deposition of proof, please save yourself a lawsuit for defamation.
Very, very disturbed by the underground drug abuse of horses. Maybe horse racing needs to be outlawed in the US. People like Bob Baffert should have been paying $10,000 per infraction and now should be banned from racing because of 28 incidents!
So Maximum Security goes from the Servis frying pan into the Baffert fire. Do Gary and Mary West live in a cave or is it all about winning. Everyone in the business knows Baffert is a juicer. Why he keeps getting away with it is not only a disgrace, but a crime.