Medina Spirit, the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby, has tested positive for a banned race day substance.
Via Action Network’s Darren Rovell:
“Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for corticosteroid Betamethasone. Only horse in race to fail test, I’m told. Tests after Derby take a week. Bettors who bet on Medina Spirit keep their money. Owner, trainer, jockey must return winnings if lose appeal,” he tweeted.
Soon after that news, the trainer, Bob Baffert, was suspended from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack.
“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.”
Baffert denies ever giving the substance to the horse.
“It’s a complete injustice, and I’m going to fight it tooth and nail,” he said, per Horse Racing Nation.
Medina Spirit is still scheduled to race in The Preakness next weekend.