One of the major thoroughbred horse races held each year and the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes features the best in the world of horse racing. Held at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, the Preakness is one of the most iconic events in horse racing. However, there will be no Preakness this year (the 147th edition of the event) for legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert. Earlier this month, the Maryland Racing Commission suspended him following dozens of drugging violations over the years, including with last year’s Kentucky Derby winner.
Below, SBS takes a deeper look at Baffert’s suspension, what it means for gambling in Maryland and on the Preakness.
According to a report from the Associated Press (AP) and also WTOP News in Washington D.C., Matt Irby, senior vice president at the Center for a Humane Economy and executive director at Animal Wellness Action welcomed the suspension of Baffert. Irby’s group had been pushing for Baffert’s suspension for some time and said in the article that Baffert cannot run any horses at the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, or the Belmont Stakes for the remainder of this year. In addition to penalties imposed by respective state commissions, the race tracks where two legs of the Triple Crown are run have imposed two-year suspensions.
Irby also said that in addition to preventing Baffert from running in 2022, there is also a good chance that he will not be running any horses, at least in the Derby and the Belmont in 2023 as well. In addition to this big suspension, a federal bill was signed into law in December 2020 and will take effect in July of this year. According to the article, this bill makes the use of all race-day medications and drugs illegal in all 50 states. So with that in mind, this would have already been the last Triple Crown where drugs were potentially used according to Irby.
Also reflected in the same piece, there will be some kind of significance relating to betting for Baffert’s suspension. According to Irby, whether you agree with gambling or not, people who are betting are making decisions on results from previous races and where the horses have run. Sometimes you also can’t have any knowledge or any idea of what drug may be in that horse’s system too. In some cases, certain drugs, such as Lasix, are labeled and listed in racing programs. However, most of the time no one knows according to Irby what is really going on. So it can become very uncertain for bettors because they are not necessarily making the best decision for themselves because of these drugs.
Baffert recently lost his bid for emergency relief from his 90-day suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The CHRB also said earlier this month that Baffert will be banned from all CHRB-licensed facilities and won’t be permitted to be involved in the training of horses that have previously been under his care. Churchill Downs has suspended Baffert for the Kentucky Derby for his year and next, however he is fighting that ban in federal court according to WTOP.
With many major events like the Preakness Stakes happening in Maryland this year, a great place to venture over to is the SBS all-in-one guide on Maryland wagering. Here you will be able to find a great selection of odds on all kinds of sports. Need more insights and help on finding the best wagers? We have your back with our expert reviews on fantastic betting web sites like BetOnline and also our amazing Bovada breakdown. With these kinds of expert tools and resources in place, you will have a ton of firepower to make sure your next picks are locked and loaded.