Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
of Fame trainer Bob Baffert was forced to scratch Breeders’ Cup Sprint
winner Secret Circle, the prohibitive favorite for today’s $300,000
Count Fleet Sprint Handicap, after he discovered
the horse was given a tranquilizer after becoming fractious prior to
boarding the Tex Sutton flight from California to Hot Springs Wednesday
morning. The scratch was necessary because the medication would not have
cleared the horse’s system in time.
am so upset,” said Baffert. “I am livid. I can't believe this is
happening to me. I've been doing this for all of these years and
shipping horses all over, and I can't believe
it. None of my crew was aware of it. This horse is a two-ime Breeders'
Cup winner and the owners (Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitmnan)
are on a private jet and on their way there. I just cannot believe this.
The shippers are usually reliable. I just
cannot believe this is happening, especially when they know we are
shipping to run. They know how to get a hold of me and they didn't. They
said they dropped the ball. This is not good. Everybody there, the
state vet or the track vet, has been nice. But it
takes 48 hours (for the medication to clear the system), and I am not
going to roll the dice."