PETA Statement: Justify Ruling

For Immediate Release:
January 25, 2021

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Sacramento, Calif. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the California Horse Racing Board’s decision to let the stewards’ ruling stand and leave Justify as the 2018 Santa Anita Derby winner, despite the violation of medication regulations after it was found that Justify and Hoppertunity had scopolamine in their systems:

Laws to protect horses and bettors are meaningless when they’re not enforced. The California Horse Racing Board manipulated the system in 2018 when it ignored and hid the drug test results, and today’s board has carried on in the same shameful way. Bob Baffert’s Triple Crown winner Justify and Hoppertunity had a banned substance in their systems, and it doesn’t matter how or why it got there—their wins should have been automatically overturned, as they would be for any other horses. This case represents all that’s wrong with racing: Horses and integrity come in last behind headlines and politics.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind