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The California Horse Racing Board voted during closed session Aug. 20 to proceed with a complaint seeking the disqualification of Justify from his victory in the 2018 Santa Anita Derby and the redistribution of that purse based on laboratory findings that his post-race sample tested positive for scopolamine.
The CHRB will not be filing a complaint against trainer Bob Baffert, due to substantial evidence that the scopolamine resulted from environmental contamination from jimson weed.
The hearing for disqualification is a condition of a settlement agreement between the CHRB and Ruis Racing LLC, the owner of Bolt d’Oro, the horse that finished second behind Justify in the Santa Anita Derby on April 7, 2018. In that matter, the CHRB is represented by counsel from the Office of the California Attorney General.
In addition, the CHRB is seeking the disqualification of Hoppertunity, winner of the Tokyo City Cup race at Santa Anita on April 8, 2018, and the redistribution of that purse based on laboratory findings that his post-race sample for that race tested positive for scopolamine. While not the subject of current litigation, this medication positive was similar to the one involving Justify. Baffert trained both horses.
The CHRB investigative unit has filed both complaints for redistribution of the purses with the Board of Stewards at Del Mar Racetrack. CHRB Investigators have also noticed the affected parties by mail or personally if possible. The stewards have scheduled the required hearings for consideration of a disqualification and purse distribution on Sept. 20 at Santa Anita Park.