Prop bets on trainer Bob Baffert’s horses are nothing new, especially when it comes to Triple Crown yes/no possibilities. But MyBookie’s David Strauss seized on the latest news concerning the Hall of Fame trainer – his medication morass with Kentucky Derby champion Medina Spirit.
Strauss, MyBookie’s head oddsmaker, created four props centering on Baffert and Medina Spirit coming into Saturday’s 146th Preakness Stakes. He set lines offering a myriad of ways to profit from Baffert’s current travails with his latest Derby star, Medina Spirit, who tested positive for excessive amounts of an anti-inflammatory after his May 1 Derby victory.
Well, hold that thought about Baffert’s “latest Derby star.” The first of Strauss’ four props asks if Medina Spirit will be stripped of the 2021 Kentucky Derby Crown. You lay -190 if you think Churchill Downs will take Medina Spirit’s title. A “no” gives you odds of +140.
For that to happen, the track said the horse’s split sample must come back positive for betamethasone. Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms of that anti-inflammatory, which is legal, but which must clear a horse’s system by race day.
Will Medina Spirit be stripped of the 2021 Kentucky Derby Crown?
Prop aside, we’re likely to see Medina Spirit on Saturday
One line Strauss may need to adjust concerns a prop asking if Medina Spirit will run the 2021 Preakness Stakes. A “yes” requires you lay -130 – not too bad a bet considering Baffert’s attorney, Craig Robertson, worked out an agreement for the horse to run Saturday. Nor is it too bad, considering Medina Spirit drew post 3 as the 9/5 morning-line favorite.
A “no” mandates you lay -110.
Will Medina Spirit run in the 2021 Preakness Stakes?
The third prop concerns Baffert. Will he be banned from Churchill Downs for the remainder of the 2021 racing season? A “yes” pays even money. The “no” is a -140 favorite. This prop is brought to you by the track’s suspension of the Hall of Fame trainer in the wake of Medina Spirit’s positive test.
As for Baffert, the West Coast-based trainer doesn’t run a lot of horses at Churchill Downs. But the ones he does run are stars in their class. That, plus Baffert’s role as the face of horse racing, probably means Churchill Downs will relent and quietly allow Baffert back after what the track deems a suitable suspension.
Will Baffert be banned from Churchill Downs for the remainder of the 2021 Racing Season?
A prop bet on Baffert’s future with Medina Spirit
The fourth and final prop asks if you think Medina Spirit’s owners will replace Baffert as the colt’s trainer before the end of 2021. If you think Amr Zedan of Zedan Racing Stables will replace Baffert with another trainer, you’ll lay -140. If you think Zedan – the deep-pocketed Saudi businessman – will remain loyal to Baffert, you’ll get even money for your conviction.
Given Zedan’s history with Baffert, who trained Zedan’s stakes-winning filly Princess Noor, this one seems like a no-brainer. It also sounds like a no-brainer if you believe Zedan’s comments earlier this week.
He told Thoroughbred Daily News that “I totally support and believe Bob Baffert. He is a professional beyond belief and he has never administered this drug to this horse at all. Medina Spirit has never been treated with this drug and we hope that the split sample will definitely prove that. Bob Baffert has my support, 100%.”
There’s more on this prop bet
Furthermore, there are Zedan’s comments from Tuesday. His attorney issued a statement in the wake of Baffert’s statement that an ointment could have produced the positive tests.
“I have reviewed the picture of the rash and fully understand the need for care and the good faith intentions in using the ointment supplied by the veterinarian,” Zedan’s statement read. “I want to express my full trust and support for Bob Baffert as we cheer on Medina Spirit in the 146th running of the Preakness this weekend.”
Will Medina Spirit’s owners replace Baffert before the end of 2021?
Strauss is known for his offbeat lines. He’s set numbers on everything from your garden-variety political lines to presidential debate props to betting on global warming. So, setting lines on whether the face of horse racing will lose or save face here is merely a breeze for him.