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Report: Calls between Bob Baffert, horse racing commission illegally recorded

The penalty brought a 90-day suspension for Bob Baffert and a disqualification of Medina Spirit...
The penalty brought a 90-day suspension for Bob Baffert and a disqualification of Medina Spirit as the Derby winner.
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 4:42 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Talks between the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and trainer Bob Baffert may have violated California law as phone conversations were recorded without the trainer’s consent.

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the conversations were held shortly after Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, an illegal race day substance, in a drug test conducted on Derby Day 2021.

The penalty brought a 90-day suspension for Baffert and a disqualification of Medina Spirit as the Derby winner.

The Times said KHRC had recorded three phone calls between the two parties, which may have been in violation of California’s all-party consent law for phone recordings.

At the time, Baffert was said to have been in California heading to a private plane back to Kentucky.

Transcripts of the calls obtained by the Times said Baffert doubted the results of test and demanded an investigation into test to “prove that this was just a big mistake.” Baffert is also disclosed as saying he and his staff would take lie-detector tests to prove his innocence.

Clark Brewster, Bob Baffert’s attorney, said the recording was not disclosed to Baffert until he had hearings with his stewards 10 months after the calls were recorded, the report states.

Kentucky’s phone recording consent law states only one party needs to have consent to legally record phone conversations.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in March upheld its 90-day suspension of Baffert following the race day test. His suspension began on March 4, 2022 after the Kentucky Court of Appeals rejected Baffert’s motion for emergency relief.

WAVE News reached out to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for comment.

WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram...
WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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