Where is Bob Baffert? Horse racing's household name to miss 150th Kentucky Derby

FILE-Horse trainer Bob Baffert walks Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah in the barn after arriving in preparation for the 140th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 13, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

When the 150th Kentucky Derby is held on May 4, the renowned horse racing spectacle will look a little different this year with Bob Baffert absent at the event. 

Baffert, a Hall of Fame trainer, has horses that have won a record-tying six Kentucky Derby races, but he won’t have a contending horse in Saturday’s Run for the Rose for a third year in a row. 

The 71-year-old had an extra year tacked on to his two-year suspension by Churchill Downs Inc. in July 2023, which was supposed to end last year. 

RELATED: Bob Baffert says Medina Spirit’s failed drug test is ‘biggest gut punch,’ injustice to the horse

According to the Associated Press, the additional punishment occurred despite no positive drug or medication tests involving Baffert’s horse during that time. 

Churchill Downs Inc. levied the original punishment after Medina Spirit, Baffert’s Kentucky Derby winner in 2021, failed a post-race drug test. 

Medina Spirit tested positive for a legal medication that's not allowed on race day in Kentucky, resulting in the horse's disqualification. 

RELATED: Preakness Stakes 2023: National Treasure wins; other Baffert horse euthanized hours earlier

The AP reported that the suspension prevented any horse owned by Baffert from collecting Kentucky Derby qualifying points, which decides the 20-horse field for the race. 

In 2023, Baffert won the Preakness with National Treasure, his 17th win in a Triple Crown race. One of his horses was injured in a race on the undercard and had to be euthanized. The AP noted Baffert earned over $12.6 million for the year. 

The Arizona native will be able to enter horses in the Preakness and the Belmont at Saratoga on June 8, 2024. Baffert nominated 18 horses to the Triple Crown series, and any of them are eligible for the remaining two legs of the race.