OPINION: Bob Baffert is a dirty, lying, cheating scumbag and horseracing authorities won't do a damn thing about it.
The 2021 Kentucky Derby ended up as a shitshow.
A heaping, steaming, nauseating pile of excrement.
The "winner," a blameless colt named Medina Spirit shocked the horseracing world and rocked the toteboard when he won a thrilling race in Louisville, Kentucky in the 147th running of the first leg of the famed Triple Crown.
Medina Spirit paid $26.20 to win, $12.00 to place and $7.60 to show. That's quite a payout for those who unknowingly wagered on the tainted Bob Baffert-trained horse and ended up cashing big.
Then came Monday's shocking revelation that Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test. He was doped up. Barry Bonds with a saddle.
Turns out, Medina Spirit was given an illegal drug called betamethasone that's banned in thoroughbred racing. Instantly, everyone associated with the colt scrabbled to come up with an explanation. Baffert, the instantly-recognizable icon crowned by a white mop of hair with his eyes hidden behind Gucci sunglasses who had just "won" his seventh Derby, concocted the worst excuse of all. He blamed "cancel culture" and professional jealousy for the incriminating drug result.
It was a pathetic excuse and an embarassing display for everyone – especially Baffert who's reputation now stinks worse than the smell at the bottom of a stable.
A second drug test will be administered in a few days and if Medina Spirit fails that, then the horse will be striped of his victory. Poor Medina Spirit. All he did was train hard and run the race to the very best of his ability. He can't control with they put in his feed bucket. His handlers were real scumbags, but the poor horse gets tainted with cheating.
If Medina Spirit is stripped of the 2021 Kentucky Derby victory, the second-place finisher Mandaloun would be declared the winner. However, bettors on Mandaloun and the other horses than ran on May 1st would still be out of luck.
Indeed, Medina Spirit could lose the victory and Mandaloun might be named the winner of the 2021 Derby. All prize money would then be taken from Medina Spirit’s team and awarded to Mandaloun’s. That's good. Then, let's impose a lifetime ban on the cheaters (which won't happen).
As for the millions of gamblers who lost their hard-earned money — from small fun-bets to five-figure wagers and tens of millions of dollars in exotics — that’s all done and gone. There will be no refunds. Nada. Anyone holding a Mandaloun ticket got burned. Mandaloun went off at 26-1.
“All bets will stand as settled...the race result has already been determined official and paid. Disqualifications from positive drug tests will not change the results,” said said John Ewing, data analyst for BetMGM.
So, the blatant dishonesty and scandal screwed horseracing fans, soiled one of the greatest moments of the year in sport, and tainted the rest of the Triple Crown races which will be marred in doubt and stained with controversy. But the biggest losers are the bettors, who didn't get a fair race or an honest outcome.
The reasons for the "all-bets-are-settled" policy are obvious.
Adjusting payouts after a tainted result would be impossible to manage. For instance, how would a sportsbook pay out all losing bets on the other horses, since 2nd moves up to 1st, 3rd moves to 2nd, and the 4th-place horse (the favourite) moves into third place? How exactly would bettors who laid down money on Medina Spirit pay back their winnings? This management problem goes just as much for live betting windows as online wagering (which could conceivably make some adjustments – though that too is fraught with problems.). Let's face it: It's an impossible system to manage and a massive adjustment that simply could not be enforced.
Accordingly, sportsbooks and gamblers absolutely MUST HAVE FAITH AND TRUST in a sport’s regulating body to run a legitimate competition. All bettors’ winnings — and wagers — depend upon that faith.
Speaking now of regulating bodies and the public's faith and trust – what comes next? Well, the Preakness officials have decided to allow Medina Spirit to compete (assuming the drug test is passed). So, no penalty. No punishment. No enforcement. No action.
READ HERE: Medina to Compete in Preakness
What a disgrace.