Photo: Evers/Eclipse Sportswire
Amr Zedan passionately defended trainer Bob Baffert on Saturday, a day after the trainer was denied a reprieve from his 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The late Medina Spirit owner appeared on the Saudi Cup International show to discuss the trainer and his fight against the colt’s disqualification from the 2021 Kentucky Derby.
Zedan said he would provide the resources to continue the legal battle for as long as necessary.
“If it has to go to the Supreme Court, I will do everything I can,” Zedan said. “This man (Baffert) is a good family man and I will put up with no more insults, no more criminal allegations to a man who was just a great for a sport we all love.”
Related: Baffert Denied Suspended Suspension by Kentucky Commission
Interviewer Nick Luck asked Zedan, who was at the Saudi Cup as the owner of the Baffert-trained Country Grammer, if he would switch potential Kentucky Derby horses to another trainer. He first replied that Baffert “will be there”.
Baffert is banned from the tracks of Churchill Downs Inc. for two years, which would prevent his horses from competing in the Derby. Responding to the hypothetical, Zedan said he would stay with Baffert.
“If I were to have a horse trained by Bob Baffert that would theoretically probably be in the Derby, it’s either Bob and I go or we don’t,” Zedan said. “We are one team.”
The owner criticized Kentucky stewards for failing to recognize the difference between injected betamethasone and what Baffert’s team claimed happened in the Medina Spirit case, the use of a topical cream. He also said he believed an eventual trial would be successful.
Zedan said he would accept defeat if he felt he was given a fair trial.
“I think once this case is in the public domain, in the presence of an impartial and objective judge in the justice system, there is no doubt in my mind, absolutely no doubt in my mind that we will win that,” Zedan said.
Medina Spirit was disqualified from winning the Kentucky Derby on Monday after a hearing with Kentucky stewards last week. Baffert’s lawyers said they would challenge the decision in the KHRC and take it to court if it fails.
The commissioners also handed Baffert a 90-day suspension and a $7,500 fine. He asked for a reprieve from the suspension, a request which was denied on Friday, prompting coach’s attorney Craig Robertson to issue a statement saying they would sue if necessary to try and secure a reprieve before the date. scheduled start of the suspension on March 8.