Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. suspended from Kentucky Derby after horse deaths : NPR
Horse trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. was suspended indefinitely from Churchill Downs races, including the Kentucky Derby, after two of the horses he trains died mysteriously, the organization said on Thursday.
Parents Pride died last Saturday and Chasing Artie died on Tuesday. The causes are still unknown.
Another of Joseph’s horses, Lord Miles, was retired from this year’s 149th Derby, which takes place on Saturday.
“Due to the unexplained sudden deaths, we have reasonable concerns about the condition of his horses, and have decided to suspend him indefinitely until the details are analyzed and understood,” said Churchill Downs Incorporated President Bill Mudd . “The safety of our equine and human athletes and the integrity of our sport is our highest priority. We feel these measures are our duty and responsibility.”
Other trainers employed directly and indirectly by Joseph will be prohibited from entering horses into races at Churchill Downs or keeping horses in stables there.
Last year, Medina Spirit, a horse owned by Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert, won the Kentucky Derby. But the title was stripped days later after Medina Spirit failed a drug test. Baffert was suspended two years from racing at Churchill Downs.