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Medina Spirit disqualified from Kentucky Derby, Mandaloun now recognized as official Derby winner

Medina Spirit
Posted at 1:24 PM, Feb 21, 2022

(LEX 18) — The late Medina Spirit has been disqualified from his 2021 Kentucky Derby victory, following a ruling by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Racing officials stripped the colt of his win on Monday. Medina Spirit tested positive for the banned substance betamethasone following his Derby win.

Trainer Bob Baffert is also suspended for 90 days from any Kentucky race track starting March 8 through June 5, 2022. He was also fined $7,500 and has 30 days to pay it. Failure to do so could mean a summary suspension of his license.

"We are disappointed by the Commission’s ruling, but not surprised," Baffert's attorney, in part, wrote in a statement. "We will appeal, and we will prevail when the facts and rules are presented to detached, neutral decisionmakers."

Churchill Downs previously suspended Baffert for two years following news of the failed drug test.

With Medina Spirit's win disqualified, runner-up Mandaloun stands to become the winner.

"Today Churchill Downs recognizes Mandaloun as the winner of the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby and extends our congratulations to owner/breeder Juddmonte, trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux," said Churchill Downs in a statement. "Winning the Kentucky Derby is one of the most exciting achievements in sports and we look forward to celebrating Mandaloun on a future date in a way that is fitting of this rare distinction."

This is the second time in the 147-year history of the Kentucky Derby that a winner was disqualified for a drug infraction.

According to the New York Times, Medina Spirit joins Maximum Security and Dancer’s Image to overturn their Derby victories.

Medina Spirit unexpectedly died last year. A necropsy report has found the colt may have died from a heart attack, but it was inconclusive to indicate an exact cause of death.