These have been tumultuous days for the sport of thoroughbred racing and in the center of the storm is Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and his Kentucky Derby winning, bargain basement colt Medina Spirit. The discovery of the therapeutic drug betamethasone in the post-race test of Medina Spirit has cast a dark cloud over the Derby winner and his connections. While a split sample will be tested to verify the drug’s presence, it has now admittedly been discovered that the substance used for inflammation in horses, entered the horse’s bloodstream through a topical ointment applied by a veterinarian for the treatment of a rash. Many questions remain, and while Baffert-trained runners have been barred from racing at Churchill Downs, they will be competing at Pimlico in two high-profile races, including the second jewel of the Triple Crown – the Preakness Stakes. Baffert’s horses can’t read the press releases and have gone about training forwardly for their races. Medina Spirit and stablemate Concert Tour will go to post in the Preakness, while Baffert will send Beautiful Gift to post as the favorite in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.
This week we will speak with two veterans of the racing game from two separate continents. Former on-track British bookmaker James Ross will join us from Great Britain to give us the viewpoint of this week’s events from across the pond. James and John will give their top Preakness picks and stay tuned…you never know what surprises James might have for our listeners from his BUSR RaceBook. Writer/handicapper Tom LaMarra makes the Mid-Atlantic his thoroughbred racing beat. He will once again join us to give his selections in some of the key races over the Friday/Saturday programs. There will be plenty to pick from and reasons to pull down the E-Z Win Forms we offer at winningponies.com There are four graded stakes races on Friday and six on Saturday.