A class-action suit filed Thursday in California accuses Bob Baffert of racketeering and seeks his removal from thoroughbred racing.
Brought on behalf of four bettors who lost money on the Kentucky Derby because of Medina Spirit’s drug-tainted victory, the suit sites “multiple and repeated acts of doping and entering horses into thoroughbred races,” and says his continued involvement in the sport poses “a threat of continuing criminal activity extending indefinitely into the future.”
Plaintiffs Michael Beychok, Justin Wunderler, Michael Meegan and Keith Mauer say they made wagers in amounts between $5 and $2,000 and were deprived of payoffs worth a minimum of $54,000 because Medina Spirit’s victory was made official before the colt tested positive for betamethasone.
What is betamethasone? What to know about drug in Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit
Suing Baffert, his stable and the stable of Medina Spirit’s owner, Amr Zedan, the plaintiffs seek treble and punitive damages, payment of the amounts they might have won if not for Medina Spirit’s doping, and a court order requiring Baffert and his co-defendants to divest themselves “of any interest (direct or indirect) in any enterprise, and imposing reasonable restrictions on the Baffert Defendants’ future activities in thoroughbred racing.”
“If the allegations are correct, the guy’s a recidivist,” attorney William Federman said. “He’s a repeat offender. He doesn’t deserve the privilege of continuing in this industry where license is required.”
Read more: Does Bob Baffert’s past drug issues deplete his benefit of the doubt in Medina Spirit case?
Baffert’s attorney, Craig Robertson, called the lawsuit “completely frivolous with zero legal merit.”
Wunderler acknowledged the lawsuit was a “longshot,” but said he expected to pursue his grievances with racetracks and racing commissions.
“If we’re not fighting for the bettors, it’s just going to keep on going,” Wunderler said. “Without the bettors, there is no sport of horse racing.”