Bob Baffert starts Del Mar summer meet with two wins

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Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. Won two in the opening weekend of Del Mar’s Summer MeatThree weeks after his 90-day suspension ended.

HavenMeltdown won his first career start by 2 1/4 lengths in the fourth race for $80,000 on Sunday at an oceanfront track north of San Diego. The 2-year-old colt is owned by longtime Baffert clients Mike Pegram, Carl Watson and Paul Weitman.

On Saturday, Baffert won the $16,000 claimed race with 3-year-old Colt Sumo.

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Trainer Bob Baffert waits for the Breeders’ Cup horse race at Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, Calif. July 23, 2022, the first major race for 3-year-olds since the Triple Crown. Taiba is coached by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, who is trying to increase his stakes record with a 10th Haskell win at Monmouth Park.
(AP photo/Je Si Hong, file)

They are among 45 horses sent down from their training base in Santa Anita, near Los Angeles. He did not enter any lucrative bets races in the opening weekend of the meeting that began on Friday.

On Saturday, Taiba finished second by a major to Baffert at the $1 million Haskell Invitational. New Jersey’s Monmouth Park,

Baffert’s lengthy suspension by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission ended on July 2.

Hall of Fame Trainer Bob Baffert’s Horse Taiba is a Favorite in the $1 Million Haskell Stakes

Taiba, who enters the Kentucky Derby, takes a shower after a workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in Louisville, Ky.  Taiba is a modest 7-5 favorite over undefeated Jack Christopher in Saturday's  million Haskell Stakes, the 3-year-old's race since the first major Triple Crown.

Taiba, who enters the Kentucky Derby, takes a shower after a workout at Churchill Downs on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 in Louisville, Ky. Taiba is a modest 7-5 favorite over undefeated Jack Christopher in Saturday’s $1 million Haskell Stakes, the 3-year-old’s race since the first major Triple Crown.
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, FILE)

He earned his first win since coming back a week later in the $125,000 Los Alamitos derby.

In April, Baffert began serving a suspension for a failed post-race drug test involving the Medina spirit, which finished first. 2021 Kentucky Derby and was later disqualified. Baffert was not allowed to field at any track and in his absence his horses were handed over to other trainers.

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In this photo provided by Equi-Photos, Haskell contender Taiba, exercise rider Na Somsanit Up, is led by groom Roberto Luna after a morning gallop at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ, Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

In this photo provided by Equi-Photos, Haskell contender Taiba, exercise rider Na Somsanit Up, is led by groom Roberto Luna after a morning gallop at Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ, Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
(Bill Denver/Equi-Photo via AP)

In June, the New York Racing Association suspended Baffert for a year for repeated drug violations, though none of them took place in New York. The sentence, which barred him from Saratoga, Belmont and the Aqueduct, ends on January 26.

The two-time Triple Crown winning trainer has been handed a two-year ban by Churchill Downs that will keep him out of the Kentucky Derby for two years. He is suing the Louisville track to reverse it.