Medina Spirit was assigned post position nine in the Pennsylvania Derby.
The colt was set to face nine others, including Belmont Stakes runner-up Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon, who was second in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
“I have a lot of respect for the other two horses,” Baffert said. “I was really looking forward to it. It’s a great race with him in there, but it’s something I have to do. I feel that part of my success is knowing when to run. This is a management call of mine.”
Baffert has won the Pennsylvania Derby three times, most recently with McKinzie in 2018.
Baffert said Private Mission, the 9-2 early favorite for Saturday’s $1 million Cotillion at Parx Racing, will also stay home. She will be pointed to the $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes on Oct. 3, also at Santa Anita.
The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has yet to render a final verdict as part of its investigation into Medina Spirit testing positive for the steroid betamethasone. Churchill Downs suspended Baffert for two years.
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