After a judge overturned the New York Racing Association’s ban of Bob Baffert on July 14, the trainer told the Daily Racing Form he plans to enter reigning champion sprint mare Gamine in the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 28.
NYRA notified Baffert ahead of the Belmont Stakes that it was suspending his ability to enter horses in races or have stall space at its racetracks due to his recent history of medication violations, the conflicting statements he provided to media around the Medina Spirit scandal, and Churchill Downs’ suspension of the trainer.
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Judge Carol Bagley Amon of the Eastern District of New York determined that NYRA’s suspension of Baffert should not have taken place without some sort of hearing permitting him to address the organization’s accusations against him.
Although NYRA was asserting its private property rights in the case, Amon said the organization is closely entwined enough with the state that its suspension of Baffert constituted a state action, thereby requiring due process.
Gamine, a 4-year-old daughter of Into Mischief, is undefeated in three starts in 2021.
She won the G3 Las Flores at Santa Anita on April 4, the G1 Derby City Distaff on May 1 at Churchill Downs, and the G2 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos on July 5. She has breezed twice at Del Mar since the Great Lady M victory.
The only blemish on Gamine’s nine-race career is a ninth-place finish in the 2020 Kentucky Oaks, after which Baffert has kept the filly to sprint distances.
The Ballerina, contested over seven furlongs, is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint this fall at Del Mar.
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