- Bob Baffert-trained duo return positive race day tests
- Kentucky Derby favorite Charlatan named
- Baffert “extremely disappointed” at information leak
Leading US trainer Bob Baffert is facing an anxious wait after two of his horses return positive race day tests.
Grade 1-winning Charlatan – who is also favorite for the Kentucky Derby, has been revealed as one of two horses from the Bob Baffert stable who returned positive tests after racing in the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park earlier in May.
Bloodhorse and other US media outlets today reported Charlatan “did not pass initial post-race testing”, which means a secondary race day sample is required to be tested in an independent laboratory to confirm any findings.
Arkansas Derby Stewards initially refused to comment on which two horses had returned irregular tests, however local press have reported Charlatan was one of the horses.
Baffert released a statement denouncing press for leaking the identity of Charlatan while secondary samples are presently being assessed.
“The rules of the Arkansas Racing Commission mandate confidentiality concerning any investigation into an alleged rule violation until there is a written decision by the stewards,” he said.
“I am extremely disappointed that, in this instance, the Commission has not followed its own rules for confidentiality.
“I am hoping for an expedited investigation and look forward to being able to speak soon about any written decision of the stewards, if and when it becomes necessary and I’m allowed to under the Commission’s confidentiality rules.”
It comes in the wake of Baffert having previously come under fire for similar controversy in 2019.
A New York Times journalist revealed 2018 Kentucky Derby winner Justify had failed a drug test in the Santa Anita Derby in the lead up to the famous Churchill Downs meeting.
Despite the Colt at the time registering for scopolamine in his system – a banned substance that veterinarians say can enhance performance, Baffert went unpunished, and thus Justify retained his Santa Anita Derby win and his ticked into the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby will be held on September 5 this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.