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Horse racing-Trainer Baffert suspended after horses test positive

Twice Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert was suspended for 15 days and two of his horses were disqualified from races they won after testing positive for a banned substance, the Arkansas Racing Commission said on Wednesday.

July 15 (Reuters) - Twice Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert was suspended for 15 days and two of his horses were disqualified from races they won after testing positive for a banned substance, the Arkansas Racing Commission said on Wednesday.

Baffert, whose suspension will run from Aug. 1-15, violated a rule which states a trainer is ultimately responsible for the condition of any horse that is entered regardless of the acts of any third parties.

The horses tested positive for lidocaine, a local anesthetic which is considered a class two substance and one that is widely used in horse racing.

Baffert said this month that he felt both horses were unknowingly and innocently exposed to the banned substance by one of his stable employees.

Charlatan romped to victory by six lengths in the first division of the Arkansas Derby in May and Gamine won earlier the same day.

In 2015, Baffert-trained American Pharoah became the first horse since 1978 to win U.S. thoroughbred racing's coveted Triple Crown. Baffert celebrated another Triple Crown in 2018 with Justify.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

((frank.pingue@thomsonreuters.com; +1-416-941-8094; Reuters Messaging: frank.pingue.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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