On December 6, 2023, racehorse trainer Bob Baffert filed a motion for a default judgment in his extortion and defamation lawsuit against two New Jersey gamblers. Baffert alleges that Justin Wunderler and Daniel DiCorcia falsely claimed on social media that they have video footage that would “end Baffert.” The lawsuit claims that the pair threatened, extorted, and defamed Baffert and engaged in an escalating pattern of threatening behavior directed specifically at Baffert and his family.

The allegations against Baffert stem from the 2021 Kentucky Derby doping scandal in which Baffert’s horse, Medina Spirit, failed a drug test and Baffert was suspended from racing at Churchill Downs. Baffert denies doping and claims that the substance found in the test was due to the topical ointment that was being used to treat Medina Spirit for a rash.

The controversy deepened when Medina Spirit later died of a heart attack, and it has been amplified by the defendants on social media that at least 74 other horses from Baffert’s stable have died since 2000. Baffert’s default judgment motion describes repeated, unsuccessful efforts to personally serve a summons and copy of the complaint on Wunderler, according to court filings.

Wunderler has not filed any papers in the case nor retained an attorney, according to the motion. It has also been revealed that Wunderler is a plaintiff in a separate federal civil lawsuit against Baffert, claiming that the drug scandal caused him to lose gambling revenue.

The lawsuit claims that Baffert has not viewed the allegedly incriminating video, but his lawyers claim the footage has been “deceptively edited” to manufacture a scandal. The lawsuit also alleges that Wunderler attempted to blackmail Baffert by requesting money in return for releasing the clips to his lawyers, a claim that Wunderler has denied.

In the leadup to this year’s Belmont Stakes in New York, Wunderler urged his followers on social media to bring dangerous objects to the race to throw at Baffert and his family. Wunderler later posted an image of Baffert’s house and claimed he “slaughters horses on national TV.”

By admin

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