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Judge refuses request for Muth, the winner of the Arkansas Derby trained by Bob Baffert, to participate in the Kentucky Derby

A judge has denied a request by the owner of Bob Baffert-trained Arkansas Derby winner Muth for the colt to run in next month’s 150th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry declined Thursday to grant

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A judge has turned down a request from the owner of Muth, the horse that won the Arkansas Derby under the training of Bob Baffert, to run in the 150th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs next month.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mitch Perry rejected a temporary injunction request from Zedan Racing Stables, which claimed that banning Baffert was “unlawful.”

Muth claimed victory in the Arkansas Derby on March 30 but cannot earn the 100 points that would have qualified him for the Run for the Roses due to Baffert’s suspension. ZRS sued Churchill Downs days later.

In his ruling, Perry expressed worry about having to remove eligible horses from the May 4th Derby to make way for the horse trained by the Hall of Famer, whose suspension by Churchill Downs was extended through 2024.

Eric Andrus, a spokesman for ZRS, stated that an urgent appeal would be filed “as soon as possible.”

“Our goal remains to ensure that our horse Muth gets to compete in the 150th Run for the Roses on May 4th,” Andrus said.

Perry’s decision pointed out that ZRS knew by Jan. 29 that Derby-eligible horses had to be transferred to a non-suspended trainer but opted to stay with Baffert. The judge also emphasized that Churchill Downs is responsible for enforcing rules to maintain fairness and integrity in the sport.

“Maintaining public trust and confidence in the integrity of races held at Churchill Downs is crucial for its business,” Perry wrote. “It is also in the public interest to ensure that all those who attend or watch races at Churchill Downs can have faith in the fairness and integrity of the sport.”

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AP horse racing: https://apnews.com/hub/horse-racing

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