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Brad Cox-trained Essential Quality wins Belmont Stakes

NEW YORK (AP) — Brad Cox insisted he wasn’t sitting around waiting or worrying about whether a disqualification of Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner would give him his first victory in a Triple Crown race.

Essential Quality captured the Belmont Stakes on Saturday to make sure Cox wouldn’t need to wait a second longer to be a Triple Crown-winning trainer.

The striking gray colt who was bet down 6-5 as the favorite passed early leader Hot Rod Charlie around the final turn and . . .

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Medina Spirit drug test confirmed; Derby win in jeopardy

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert’s lawyer said Wednesday that a split-sample test of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit came back positive for the presence of the steroid betamethasone, which could lead to the horse’s disqualification and discipline for the Hall of Fame trainer.

Attorney Craig Robertson said the second test showed 25 picograms of the steroid, after 21 picograms were found initially. Even a trace amount of betamethasone — a picogram is a trillionth of one gram — is prohibited on race day in Kentucky, Maryland and New York, which are home to the sport’s Triple Crown races, and considered a violation.

Robertson said additional testing is being conducted to try to trace the source of the drug to an ointment to treat a . . .

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Essential Quality is 2-1 morning line favorite for Belmont

NEW YORK (AP) — Essential Quality was set Tuesday as a 2-1 favorite for the Belmont Stakes, which will be run Saturday without a horse from trainer Bob Baffert pending an investigation into Medina Spirit’s failed drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby.

Preakness winner Rombauer and Essential Quality headline a field of eight horses for the third jewel of the Triple Crown. Baffert has no horses running at Belmont Park because the New York Racing Association suspended him in light of Medina Spirit’s positive drug test for a corticosteroid at the Derby.

Essential Quality, who drew the No. 2 post position, went off as the Derby favorite and finished fourth. Brad Cox’s other . . .

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New York suspends Bob Baffert pending Kentucky Derby probe

Bob Baffert was suspended Monday from entering horses at New York racetracks, pending an investigation into Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s failed postrace drug test.

Baffert will temporarily not be allowed to stable any horses at Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack and Saratoga Race Course or run any of his horses at the New York Racing Association’s tracks. That ban includes races at Belmont Park, with the Belmont Stakes coming up June 5.

“In order to maintain a successful thoroughbred racing industry in New York, NYRA must protect the integrity of the sport for our fans, the betting public and racing participants,” NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “That responsibility demands the . . .

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11-1 Rombauer wins Preakness after skipping Kentucky Derby

BALTIMORE (AP) — Preakness champion Rombauer’s trainer, Michael McCarthy, lobbied hard to get the bay colt entered into the Kentucky Derby.

The horse’s owners, Diane and John Fradkin, just didn’t think that was the right move. Instead, they wanted to point to the second leg of the Triple Crown. No one will ever know what might have happened if Rombauer had been allowed to go to Churchill Downs.

At Pimlico on Saturday, the 11-1 shot showed up right on time. Rombauer came from behind to win the Preakness with a stirring stretch . . .

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Rombauer pulls Preakness upset, Baffert’s Medina Spirit 3rd

BALTIMORE (AP) — Rombauer left Medina Spirit behind — and put horse racing’s latest controversy on the back burner.

Little-known Rombauer sprung an 11-1 upset to win the Preakness on Saturday, passing Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner to end a potential Triple Crown bid that would have carried a giant asterisk.

Medina Spirit finished third and will not go on to the Belmont with a Triple Crown on the line and a potential . . .

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