Kafwain DQ'd from Louisiana Derby; Baffert Wants Uniformity
Date Posted: 3/28/2003 3:38:11 PM
Last Updated: 3/28/2003 4:03:11 PM

Kafwain, winning the San Vicente earlier this year.
Photo: Benoit photos
The Thoroughbred Corp.'s Kafwain was disqualified from his second-place finish in the March 9 Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds because he raced with an excessive amount of the bronchodilator clenbuterol. Trainer Bob Baffert said he did everything to comply with the rules but wouldn't appeal because Kafwain would miss at least his next race.

In addition, Baffert called for uniformity in medication rules, and went so far as to say he'd contribute financially to the cause.

The Louisiana State Racing Commission took the action March 28. The purse money of $150,000 for second place will be redistributed.

Baffert, in a prepared statement, said the ruling was not appealed because under Louisiana rules, Kafwain would not have been ineligible to race pending the outcome. By waiving the right to appeal, Kafwain is eligible to race in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby April 5.

Post-race urine tests determined Kafwain had 16 nanograms of clenbuterol in his system. The allowable limit in Louisiana is 10 nanograms of clenbuterol. Baffert was fined $1,000 for the violation.

"Baffert declined his right to test the split portion of this (blood/urine) sample," the commission's ruling said. "Following a hearing, the stewards concluded the drug contained in the sample could have produced analgesia in, stimulated, or depressed the horse or could have masked or screened a drug not permitted."

The second- through fifth-place purse money will be redistributed. Funny Cide was placed second, Lone Star Sky third, Defrere's Vixen fourth, and Badge of Silver fifth. Peace Rules won the Louisiana Derby.

"The deal is, clenbuterol is legal in every state, but almost all of them have different levels on withdrawal times," Baffert said. "In this case, we did everything we could to comply with the rules, cutting off a week in advance, as our records show.

"I have no idea what tests Louisiana does or doesn't do, or how much money they spend on their testing compared with California, New York, or other states where I race. I do know if I contest this, under Louisiana rules, the horse can't run until the case is resolved.

"We'll take our lumps on this, but we look forward to the day when the sport has uniform medication rules and uniform testing in every state. I, for one, would be happy to contribute a percentage of earnings to fund uniform testing. I challenge the rest of the industry to join me."

Kafwain has four wins, two seconds, and a third in 10 starts with earnings of $625,848.


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