The Road to the Kentucky Derby will kick off on September 18 for the 2021-22 edition. However, horses trained by the man who has registered the most wins in the Run for the Roses will not be eligible for points. This is because Churchill Downs Inc. announced that they would not be awarded points for participating in those races to get a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) starting Gate. If you are planning to bet on the races, consider using the Lucky 15 horse racing calculator to help you simplify everything. Meanwhile, the corporation based in Louisville stated that it will not award points to horses that are trained by individuals suspended from the 2022 Kentucky Derby. This decision is based on a new rule that takes effect from September 30. 

Among the trainers currently running horses, there is only one individual that fits the description, Hall of Fame Bob Baffert. CDI suspended the trainer on June 2 through the 2023 spring meet from racing horses at Churchill Downs. 

CDI made that decision against Baffert, who is a seven-time Kentucky Derby winner. The action was based on his 2021 Kentucky Derby Presented by Medina Spirit, the Woodford Reserve winner who tested positive for corticosteroid betamethasone. This therapeutic medication is banned on race day in Kentucky.  

Moreover, CDI also reiterated that the practice of assistant trainers running horses under their own name when their employer is servicing a suspension would also not add to a horse’s tally. In this regard, the press release by CDI confirmed that there will be no points awarded in any race on the Road to the Kentucky Derby for horses trained by individuals that are suspended from the 2022 Kentucky Derby race. The rule also applies to any trainers directly or indirectly employed, supervised or advised by a suspended trainer.

Horse Owners Remain Silent 

Several owners associated with budding young horses trained by Baffert have remained silent about the issue. Some notable owners who were expected to react to the news and haven’t include Gary West, Tom Ryan, Sol Kumin and Jack Wolf.

However, Baffert’s legal representative, Clark Brewster, stated that Churchill’s decision was intended to force horse owners to stay away from him economically. He further claimed that the move was meant to devastate Baffert financially. 

Besides that, the attorney also claimed that Churchill Downs had never spoken to Baffert or his legal team or Medina Spirit about the issue. Baffert’s options include challenging the matter legally.