Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Against Bob Baffert and Churchill Downs

Two weeks ago, Mystik Dan won the Kentucky Derby by a nose over Sierra Leone and Forever Young. If you didn’t watch the race and haven’t seen the finishing photo, you should check it out here and here

The 2021 Kentucky Derby also had a notable finish, albeit for less auspicious reasons. That year, Medina Spirit was the first horse to cross the finish line at the Kentucky Derby. Nine months later, however, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission disqualified Medina Spirt because the horse tested positive for betamethasone in a post-race drug test. As a result, Maundaloun was declared the winner. Nineteen individual plaintiffs who would have won their wagers on the new order of finish brought a putative class action against Bob Baffert and Bob Baffert Racing, Inc. (who trained Medina Spirit) and Churchill Downs, Inc. (which owns the racetrack where the Derby is run). Just in time for Triple Crown season, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims for reasons that provide insight beyond horse racing. Mattera v. Baffert, No. 23-5750 (6th Cir. May 2, 2024).Continue Reading And They’re Not Off . . .

Over the holidays, I enjoyed watching Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?, the Netflix four-episode documentary about John Leonard’s attempt to claim a Harrier fighter jet through the “Pepsi Stuff” promotion during the 1990s. Pepsi ultimately prevailed in the litigation that ensued when the soft-drink company denied Leonard’s claim.  See Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc., 88 F. Supp.2d 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1999). Here are four thoughts that I had on the series as someone who practices consumer litigation.Continue Reading Four Thoughts on Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?