After Kentucky Derby winner* Medina Spirit failed his first drug test, his trainer, Bob Baffert, did the media rounds to blame cancel culture and everybody besides himself for his horse’s unusually high levels of betamethasone.
Medina Spirit’s second failed drug test for the banned substance was confirmed on Wednesday. In response, Churchill Downs has suspended Baffert from the track for two years.
Now, team Baffert is in damage control… again. They’re trying to salvage any ounce of credibility they still have (spoiler alert: they had none to begin with).
But instead of Baffert taking another TV tour, his attorney Craig Robertson III will handle this new round of questions. Today, Robertson appeared on CNN to defend his client. It didn’t go well, to put it nicely.
“This has been a difficult time for Mr. Baffert,” Robertson pleaded with hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar. “He has worked hard all of his life and achieved the pinnacle of the sport. I mean, basically Bob Baffert is the Michael Jordan of Horse Racing. To now have his life’s work questioned the way that it has been very difficult.”
The Michael Jordan of what? Also, now he’s having his life work questioned? Over the course of his career, his horses have failed 31 drug tests. Suddenly everyone is out to get him?
“With all due respect, you say he’s like the Michael Jordan of the sport,” Keilar told Robertson. “But when you look at his history, it’s more like he’s the Jose Canseco of the sport.”
Robertson did not argue the fact that Medina Spirit tested positive for more than double the amount of betamethasone allowed to race. But, apparently, the rule itself is the problem here.
“Just because that’s a rule, does not mean that it’s a proper rule,” Robertson exclaimed, leaving Berman visabley puzzled.
“Was Bob Baffert aware of the rules?” The CNN host pressed.
“Yes, Mr. Baffert is aware of the rules.” Robertson responded.
“So he broke the rules.”
“Well, listen…” Dodge, deflect, blah blah blah. You can watch most of the interview below.
At one point, Robertson noted that his client had only been suspended twice in his career.
“I got to say, ‘only two suspension’ I’m not sure you want that as the second line on your chyron. Bob Baffert, only suspended twice in his career.”
Maybe Bob Baffert and his team should just stop doing media hits. I get that people in the public eye can go on TV to defend themselves, but these clips just make Baffert and his team look worse and sloppy. And as much as Baffert may want a safe space on cable TV, he’s probably not going to get one any time soon.
“Craig Robertson, lawyer for multiple-time suspended Bob Baffert,” Berman said concluding the interview, “we thank you for joining us.”