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Bob Baffert. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Bob Baffert. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Legendary US trainer Bob Baffert has been suspended for 90 days and fined $7,500 as a result of Medina Spirit’s positive dope test after his win in the 2021 Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission confirmed his suspension in a statement.

The decision means the horse’s owners, Zedan Racing Stables, lose the $1.86m purse obtained for the May 1 Derby win.

Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone but Baffert has claimed the positive test is the result of treatment for a skin condition.

Medina Spirit, who died suddenly in December during a piece of work at Santa Anita, went on to win the grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes and ran second to Knicks Go in the Breeders Cup Classic at Del Mar in November.

Baffert has won a record six Kentucky Derbies and captured the 2015 Triple Crown with American Pharoah and the 2018 Triple Crown with Justify.

Meanwhile back home, the scratching of Sean Tarry’s four-year-old Paisley Park from the sixth race at Turffontein on Thursday has left the way clear for Quantum King to notch the third win of his career.

A R240,000 purchase from Klawervlei as a yearling, Quantum King has two wins and three placings to his credit from seven starts.

Interestingly, Gavin Lerena, who was due to ride Paisley Park, was in the saddle for the Querari colt’s two victories.

Keagan De Melo, who has been in hot form recently, will be at the controls on Johan Janse van Vuuren’s runner this time and is poised for a big run.

The only runner given a chance of upsetting the favourite is Paul Peter’s three-year-old Val D’Orcia. The Vercingetorix gelding returns to calmer waters after finishing unplaced in the Gauteng Guineas.

Tarry and Lerena team up with the grey Spiritofthegroove in the final leg of the Pick 6, but preference is for the mare’s stablemate Mounia. The Rafeef filly finished a creditable third in a handicap at Kenilworth on Met day and should run well provided she has recovered from the long haul back from the Cape.

Roy Magner often books Lerena for his fancied runners and he’s engaged him to partner juvenile Emirate Gina for the third time in the third race. The market will need monitoring as there are newcomers in this 1,200m contest representing both the Tarry and Mike de Kock yards.

De Kock’s three-year-old Angelsea is proving costly to follow and the three-times beaten favourite tries to leave the maiden ranks once again when taking on 10 rivals in the first race.

Chamu Mabaya partners Angelsea for the second time, but it might be worth risking a few rand each-way on Thomas Ncume’s mount Seconda Errore. The filly, a half-sister to Russian Rock, made a pleasing debut earlier this month.

Peter introduces a R1.2m son of Gimmethegreenlight named Lamborghreeni in the fifth race, yet Warren Kennedy is booked for stablemate London Roads.

This 2,600m maiden plate looks tailor-made for an upset and two long shots, Arlington Action and Takagari, are worth including in exotic perms.


1st Race: (10) Seconda Errore (2) Angelsea (5) Oceans Pride (1) Fashionigma

2nd Race: (2) Strike A Match (1) Cool Winter (7) Twin Strike (10) Southern Style

3nd Race: (4) Emirate Gina (6) Miss Cool (3) Dame Twining (5) Magic Inspiration

4th Race: (6) Mcebisi (8) Grand Escape (3) Final Declaration (5) Soweto Spina

5th Race: (1) Arlington Action (9) Cape Bouquet (7) London Roads (2) Takagari

6th Race: (4) Quantum King (5) Val D’Orcia (2) Theory Of Flight (7) Epic Dream

7th Race: (8) Permesso Avanti (2) Tanzanite Queen (6) Warship (5) Say When

8th Race: (3) Mounia (7) Tallinn (5) Run April Run (9) Icy Night

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