Most thoroughbred horse racing jurisdictions have a rarely used codicil in their by-laws referred to as the Right Of Exclusion.
This court tested policy enables track management the right to deny an individual the privilege to race if the individual’s participation is deemed to be a detriment to the best business interest of the facility.
The implementation of this policy is critical to horse racing’s ability to maintain the publics trust, which has been waning as of late.
Certain regional regulators charged with maintaining the integrity of racing have failed and, in many instances, outright refused to implement rules, seriously damaging the public perception of the sport.
Hats off to the New York Racing Association as they have implemented their Right Of Exclusion barring Bob Baffert from participating at any of their facilities.
This could be the watershed moment that would stem the tide in the purported demise of the sport.
In this year’s Kentucky Derby MEDINA SPIRIT tested positive for banned substance betamethasone.
This was the second incident involving illicit medication issues in the Kentucky Derby since 2018, both under the care and supervision of the same trainer… B.B.
These incidents exponentially support the need for racetrack’s Right Of Exclusion policy and more importantly the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority.
The MEDINA SPIRIT incident seems to be the straw that broke the horse’s back.
Taking into consideration recent medication irregularities, NYRA and Churchill Downs exerted their Right Of Exclusion barring Bob Baffert from racing at their facilities.
Baffert has decided on legal action to test the court approved Right Of Exclusion policy citing the 14th Amendment due process rights, also noting the irreparable damage to his reputation.
Earth to Bob, your reputation has been in disrepair for some time now.
To their credit, NYRA is steadfast in their commitment to exclude Mr. Baffert, notifying the court of a motion to dismiss his lawsuit and also noting that the irreparable damage to his reputation was self-inflicted.
Ouch Bob !
Let’s hope the horse racing gods are aligning and stay on the right path to support the Right Of Exclusion.