Medina Spirit’s win at the 2021 Kentucky Derby is under dispute after the horse failed a drug test, according to the New York Times. If the failed test is confirmed, the colt would be retroactively disqualified from the race and would have to forfeit its title and winning purse.
Medina Spirit entered the Kentucky Derby with 12-1 odds, which was sixth best at the time of the race. The horse earned $1.86 million in purse money as the first-place finisher.
The horse reportedly tested positive for betamethasone, which is injected into the joints of a horse to reduce pain and swelling.
Medina Spirit was trained by legendary trainer Bob Baffert, who claimed his seventh Kentucky Derby title with the horse’s win. Baffert is no stranger to recent controversy. His horse Gamine was retroactively disqualified from last year’s Kentucky Oaks after it failed a drug test for the same substance. Baffert’s horses have reportedly failed five drug tests in the last year.
Baffert is banned from entering horses at Churchhill Downs as this plays out. denied allegations of any wrong doing:
Baffert: “I’m worried about the sport. This is a pretty serious accusation. We’re doing to get to the bottom of it. We didn’t do it.” pic.twitter.com/8o3UpfC12K— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) May 9, 2021
Baffert also trained Justify, the most recent Triple Crown winner, who also failed a drug test.
If a split sample confirms a positive test for betamethasone, Baffert will still be able to appeal.
Bob Baffert responds to Medina Spirit’s positive drug test
Baffert has gone on the attack over Medina Spirit’s positive test. The trainer said he plans plans on running the horse in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, because it takes three weeks for the second test to come back. Baffert said Medina Spirit is currently on its way to Baltimore to compete in the Preakness, and no one has told him it isn’t allowed to race.
Here’s an interview Baffert did with Fox News:
Bob Baffert blamed "cancel culture" after his horse, Medina Spirit, who won the Kentucky Derby, failed its post-race drug test.— Mediaite (@Mediaite) May 10, 2021
"We live in a different world now. This America's different." pic.twitter.com/bsQeiV7oXi
Here are some additional comments from Baffert.
Bob Baffert tells Dan Patrick he has an “investigation team,” working on the Medina Spirit situation. Says he is planning on running on the horse in the Preakness. Also said the Churchill Downs reaction to ban him was a “cancel culture” reaction.— rickbozich (@rickbozich) May 10, 2021
Baffert says one test issue was created by a groom urinating in the stall after the groom had been taking cough medicine. Horse ate some of the hay.— rickbozich (@rickbozich) May 10, 2021
“I didn’t do it,” Baffert said. “This should have been looked at in a different way ... it’s a contaminant level ... we’re an open book.”— rickbozich (@rickbozich) May 10, 2021
We’ll update this story as it develops.