April 19, 2024 2 min read


Court Rejects Effort to Get Baffert Trainee to Run in the Kentucky Derby

As for Zedan’s effort to get Muth to participate, Churchill downs dismissed his filing as a case of “Derby Fever”

The Jefferson County Circuit Court has rejected thoroughbred owner Amr Zedan’s plea to allow his horse Muth to run in the upcoming Kentucky Derby. To contextualize, Muth is a horse trained by the controversial trainer Bob Baffert who was suspended in 2021.

Baffert was suspended after one of the horses he trained, Medina Spirit, tested positive for a banned substance. The trainer’s ban was originally set to expire before this year’s Kentucky Derby game but was extended after he insisted on his innocence.

In the last few years, Baffert agreed to transfer his horses to other trainers’ barns in order to allow them to run in the Kentucky Derby. However, the trainer refused to do so this year, meaning that he will likely have no entries in the race this year.

This may mean a less exciting race, considering Baffert’s popularity and skill as a trainer. For context, his horses have won six Kentucky Derbies, eight Preakness Stakes, three Belmont Stakes and three Kentucky Oaks. He has also trained the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Mitchell Perry questioned Zedan’s decision to file his request now and not a year ago when Baffert’s ban was extended. He also noted that allowing Muth and other Baffert-trained horses to run would unfairly impact the race as it may mean other horses that have qualified might need to be excluded from the race.

Additionally, the judge concluded that public trust is essential to the business of Churchill Downs. Because of that, Perry opted to reject Zedan’s request.  

As for Zedan’s effort to get Muth to participate, Churchill downs dismissed his filing as a case of “Derby Fever.”

We are pleased with the Court’s decision today and believe Mr. Zedan may suffer from a case of ‘Derby Fever,’ which is known to spread with exposure to horses and is contagious this time of year. Symptoms can contribute to questionable judgment and in extreme cases can result in litigious behavior.

Churchill Downs statement

In the meantime, one of Baffert’s attorneys, Clark Brewster, might actually benefit from the upholding of the ban. Baffert, who is also a racehorse owner, is part owner of Track Phantom, a promising Kentucky Derby contender.


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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