Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Fails Drug Test

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug take a look at, as soon as extra placing the practices of his Hall of Fame coach Bob Baffert below uncomfortable scrutiny.

The colt can’t be disqualified till a break up pattern confirms the end result. Baffert will then have a possibility to enchantment. If disqualified, Medina Spirit could be stripped of the Derby title and the profitable purse.

In a information convention Sunday morning outdoors of his barn at Churchill Downs, Baffert stated neither he nor anybody on his workforce administered the drug betamethasone to Medina Spirit.

“I was totally shocked when I heard this news,” Baffert stated. “I’m still trying to absorb it. I am the most scrutinized trainer. And I am okay with that. The last thing I want to do is something that would jeopardize the greatest sport.”

He added: “I’m worried about the sport,” stated Baffert. “This is a pretty serious accusation. We’re doing to get to the bottom of it. We didn’t do it.”

With Medina Spirit’s victory, Baffert received his seventh Kentucky Derby, surpassing the file set by Ben Jones, who collected his blankets of roses in 1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949 and 1952.

The optimistic take a look at, nonetheless, provides to the questions surrounding Baffert. Regulators in Arkansas final month upheld a ruling {that a} banned substance had been present in two of his horses, however they determined to cut back his penalty from a suspension to a high quality.

Medina Spirit examined optimistic for betamethasone, a corticosteroid injected into joints to cut back ache and swelling. It is identical substance discovered final yr in Baffert’s Gamine after the filly completed third within the Kentucky Oaks. Gamine was disqualified and her house owners have been denied the purse for her third place end. Baffert was fined $1,500.

Baffert has gained the enmity of rivals who imagine that he has persistently cheated, suspicions fueled by 30 drug exams failed by his horses over 4 many years, together with 5 in a bit of greater than a yr.

The circumstances took months, if not years, to adjudicate and have been met principally with modest fines or temporary suspensions, as Baffert asserted he did nothing flawed and blamed the outcomes on environmental contamination or human error.

Last yr, going through mounting criticism, he apologized for the violations and promised to be extra vigilant sooner or later.

“I am very aware of the several incidents this year concerning my horses and the impact it has had on my family, horse racing, and me,” Baffert stated in a press release. “I want to have a positive influence on the sport of horse racing. Horses have been my life and I owe everything to them and the tremendous sport in which I have been so fortunate to be involved.”

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