Ian Patrick, FISM News
After winning a record seventh Kentucky Derby race, trainer Bob Baffert announced that his winning horse known as Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test.
The record-setting horse tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, an anti-inflamatory steroid that is legal to use as a therapeutic medication. The amount found in Medina Spirit surpasses the legal threshold.
Upon his announcement on May 9, Baffert denied that neither he nor anyone else have ever treated Medina Spirit with betamethasone. He said “I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something that I didn’t do. And this is really . . . it’s disturbing. It’s an injustice to the horse.”
Over the past 24 hours, Baffert has consistently denied administering the drug to Medina Spirit, and a second drug test is underway to confirm the first test’s findings.
The Churchill Downs racing complex suspended Baffert from entering horses at its famed racetrack and said that if the positive test is upheld in a second drug test, Medina Spirit’s results will be invalidated and the second-place horse Mandaloun will be declared the Kentucky Derby winner.
Failure to comply with the rules and medication protocols jeopardizes the safety of the horses and jockeys, the integrity of our sport and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby and all who participate. Churchill Downs will not tolerate it. Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack. We will await the conclusion of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commissions’ investigation before taking further steps.