On Bob Baffert's Kentucky Derby Scoreboard, Cancel Culture Edges Out Accountability In a Spectacular Photo Finish

Kentucky Derby trainer Bob Baffert looks on before the 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Kentucky Derby trainer Bob Baffert looks on before the 145th running of the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo: Tom Pennington (Getty Images)

We have another victim, y’all.

In the aftermath of Medina Spirit winning the Kentucky Derby earlier this month, securing horse trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh Derby victory in the process, came some unfavorable news.

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On Sunday, it was revealed that the horse failed a post-race drug test and, well, ESPN can explain it all much better than I can:

“Medina Spirit’s victory in the Kentucky Derby is in serious jeopardy because of a failed postrace drug test, one that led Churchill Downs to suspend Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert on Sunday in the latest scandal to plague the sport.

Baffert denied all wrongdoing and promised to be fully transparent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission during its investigation. Baffert’s barn received word Saturday that Medina Spirit had tested positive for an excessive amount of the steroid betamethasone, which is sometimes used to treat pain and inflammation in horses.”

See? I told you ESPN can explain it much better than I ever could.

Usually when this type of thing happens, in any sport, it’s rare that the culprit just Kanye shrugs and outright admits their wrongdoing on some, “My bad, y’all! We good though, right?” shit. It’s always “the testing policy is bullshit” or “I accidentally ingested something my trainer gave me.” But what happens when the trainer is entirely at fault because the competitor is a thoroughbred racehorse?

Apparently, you just pin the blame on cancel culture.

Hell, that’s exactly what Baffert did after vehemently denying he’s guilty of any wrongdoing (more on that later) during an appearance on Fox News.

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“With all the noise going out we live in a different world now,” he said. “This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing so they’re reviewing it.”

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And just in case you thought he misspoke, the 68-year-old doubled down on that claim during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.

“Churchill came out with a really harsh statement,” he said. “I think it was a knee-jerk, cancel culture kind of reaction. They violated my due process.”

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Baffert’s absurd attempts to emerge triumphant in the court of public opinion are failing miserably considering that “cancel culture” is currently a trending topic on Twitter. But what makes his assertions even more ridiculous is that betamethasone, the steroid which Medina Spirits tested positive for an excessive amount of, isn’t ingested—as Baffert alluded to—it’s injected and is used to treat pain and inflammation. To put that in context, the chances of anyone “accidentally” taking an excessive amount of betamethasone is like “accidentally” taking both doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

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How stupid does this dude think we are?

His “cancel culture” claims also sound even more asinine when you look at how many times horses that he’s trained throughout the years have—wait for it—also failed drug tests.

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NPR recently broke down a few of those failed tests and in November it was revealed that throughout the course of his career, Baffert-trained horses have failed at least 29 drug tests.

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But we’re talking about cancel culture?

A second test was taken from Medina Spirit at the Kentucky Derby. If that second sample is tested and the four-year-old thoroughbred fails again, it will be disqualified from the Derby and forced to forfeit its $1.86 million in winnings. Baffert will be offered the right to appeal the case, but it could take months to adjudicate.

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But regardless of how all of this plays out, trust and believe Baffert will land on his feet. White men in America tend to routinely flex that superpower and in this instance, don’t expect anything different.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.

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