Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s positive drug test confirmed, per report


Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit walks around the Stakes Barn with assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes after arriving at Pimlico Race Course Monday, May 10, 2021. (Lloyd Fox/The Baltimore Sun via AP)./The Baltimore Sun via AP)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDKY) – Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s positive, post-victory drug test was confirmed by a second sample, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The second sample was requested by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, whose horse won the 147th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 1. It was Baffert’s record-setting seventh Kentucky Derby victory.

It’s expected that Medina Spirit will become just the second Derby winner to be disqualified for a faulty drug test.

Baffert’s attorneys released this statement:

In response to the inquiries, this will acknowledge that the Medina Spirit split sample confirmed the finding of betamethasone at 25 picograms.  There is other testing that is being conducted, including DNA testing.  We expect this additional testing to confirm that the presence of the betamethasone was from the topical ointment, Otomax, and not an injection.  At the end of the day, we anticipate this case to be about the treatment of Medina Spirit’s skin rash with Otomax.  We will have nothing further to say until the additional testing is complete.

Baffert first told reporters outside his barn at Churchill Downs on May 9 that his horse had failed his post-Derby drug test, initially sharing a variety of theories to explain the test result. He even blamed cancel culture at one point, making for a fun day on Twitter on May 10.

Dancer’s Image was the only other Derby winner to have his victory reversed for a failed drug test.

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