NewsCovering Kentucky

Actions

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has returned a positive drug test

Medina Spirit
Posted at 9:51 AM, May 09, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has returned a positive drug test, trainer Bob Baffert said in a news conference Sunday morning.

Baffert said he tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, which is a Class C drug. The legal limit for the drug in Kentucky is 10 picograms.

He added that he does not know why Medina Spirit would have tested positive for the drug.

"Yesterday I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something I didn't do," Baffert said. "It's disturbing. It's an injustice for the horse."

He said he will fight it tooth and nail and claimed there is "something wrong in racing".

"How do I move forward from this knowing that something like this can happen?" Baffert said. "It's a complete injustice."

He said he will investigate and that the drug test results will not be official and disqualification from the Derby cannot be considered until the results from a split sample come back.

"Something is not right here," he said. "Something is not right."

Baffert said Medina Spirit will still run in the Preakness.

Churchill Downs Inc. has responded by immediately suspending Baffert. Read their statement in full:

It is our understanding that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample indicated a violation of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s equine medication protocols. The connections of Medina Spirit have the right to request a test of a split sample and we understand they intend to do so. To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the 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.