Baffert Hearing: Drug Could Definitely Improve Medina Spirit’s Performance | Horse Racing News

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Bob Baffert: Was temporarily suspended by the NYRA in May 2021 after Medina Spirit failed a post-Kentucky Derby drug test

Edward Whitaker (

By Dick Downey/

A world-renowned expert on anti-inflammatory drugs has provided evidence against Bob Baffert on the second day of a New York Racing Association (NYRA) disciplinary hearing over multiple alleged drug offenses committed by horses under the care of the Hall of Fame trainer.

dr. Pierre-Louis Toutain, whose doctorate was on corticosteroid use in horses and president of the European Association for Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, described how phenylbutazone, also known as “bute,” betamethasone, and lidocaine tie were relevant to the charges against Baffert.

Toutain said the intended use of bute is not to mask pain and should only be used to treat inflammation, not to train horses. He said that while some use it to train horses with mild inflammation, it is “an inappropriate use. It should only be used to treat inflammation, not to train horses.”

Toutain said regarding Cruel Intention and Eclair, Baffert-trained horses that tested positive in the summer of 2019, the amount of bute found by the testing lab could affect the horse’s performance. Referring specifically to Eclair, he added, “This is a very high concentration. I’m sure of that. With this amount, the full effectiveness of the drug is achieved.”

Toutain said that in the case of horses with mild lameness, bute can be used to allow the horse to perform “at full capacity.” He said bute “can’t improve performance,” but it can “improve performance” by reducing inflammation “because inflammation is painful.”

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Medina Spirit: Kentucky Derby winner tests positive after Churchill Downs win

Medina Spirit: Kentucky Derby winner tests positive after Churchill Downs win

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Toutain described betamethasone, a corticosteroid found in Medina Spirit’s samples after his race following his win in last year’s Kentucky Derby, as “highly effective,” Toutain said it doesn’t cure but may mask an underlying joint condition that causes inflammation. causes. He warned of the possibility of serious consequences of abuse. “If you have a leg problem, you don’t race,” he said.

Medina Spirit tested positive at 21 micrograms per milliliter of blood. NYRA attorney Henry Greenberg asked Toutain whether a concentration of 20 picograms improves a horse’s performance during a race? “Absolutely, yes,” Toutain replied.

Toutain also addressed lidocaine positives found in Charlatan and Gamine on Arkansas Derby Day in May 2020. Explaining that lidocaine blocks pain and does not cure underlying problems, he said it can also be used to treat injury in a horse mask and put a horse at risk of injury.

Disciplinary hearing Bob Baffert starts with explosive opening day

A typical dose is 100 to 200 milligrams, applied topically, and can be detected when given a day before a race, according to Toutain. Charlatan tested positive for 46 picograms per milliliter of blood and Gamine 185 picograms per milliliter. These amounts would have no pharmacological effect on racing ability, according to Toutain.

The hearing follows the NYRA’s decision on May 17 last year to temporarily suspend Baffert after the failure of a post-race drug test by Medina Spirit. Baffert prevailed in federal court and secured a restraining order on July 14 over a lack of due process that ended the ban.

In response, the NYRA issued a new set of disciplinary protocols and regulations, leading to Monday’s hearing that could eventually reinstate the suspension.

Read more on this topic:

Bob Baffert threatens to sue Churchill Downs over two-year ban

NYRA Amends Charges Against Bob Baffert With Two More Violations Reported

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