Cancel tradition was not accountable for the Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s constructive drug take a look at. Nor was contamination accountable, or a conspiracy at work. No, his coach, Bob Baffert, stated Tuesday, the colt was being handled for dermatitis with an ointment that contained the drug in query.
“I had him checked out by my veterinarian who recommended the use of an antifungal ointment called Otomax,” Baffert stated in an announcement. At a veterinarian’s suggestion, the ointment was utilized each day to Medina Spirit’s hind finish to heal the dermatitis, the assertion stated.
“Yesterday, I was informed that one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone,” Baffert stated within the assertion. He added, “I wanted to be forthright about this fact as soon as I learned of this information.”
Medina Spirit, who went off at 12-to-1 odds, received the Derby on May 1, giving Baffert his seventh victory in America’s biggest race, a report. On Sunday, nonetheless, he introduced that his colt had examined constructive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid injected into joints to scale back ache and swelling.
If a second pattern, collected concurrently the primary, confirms the lead to a take a look at anticipated within the coming weeks, Medina Spirit will likely be disqualified and the Derby’s runner-up, Mandaloun, will likely be declared the winner, stated officers at Churchill Downs, the racetrack in Louisville, Ky. They additionally barred Baffert from coming into horses to run at Churchill Downs.
In a collection of tv and radio interviews on Monday, Baffert supplied numerous theories about how the colt had examined constructive. He criticized Churchill Downs’s suspension of him as “harsh” and cited “cancel culture” for the controversy.
“I would never risk my reputation,” he stated. “I train great horses, and I train for great clients. This just doesn’t make sense.”
The draw for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, which was to be held Monday, was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon as a substitute. Baffert has stated he’ll enter Medina Spirit within the race, the second leg in horse racing’s Triple Crown.