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Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert announced Sunday that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for the steroid cream betamethasone.
Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for the topical steroid cream betamethasone, trainer Bob Baffert announced.
The California-based trainer, who won his record-seventh Kentucky Derby, said the Kentucky Racing Commission informed his assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes on Saturday that Medina Spirit tested positive for 21 picograms of the anti-inflammatory medicine in a post-race sample. The legal limit in Kentucky is 10 picograms.
“I don’t know what’s going on in racing right now, but there’s something not right,” Baffert said in a press conference at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning. “I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I was wronged. We’re going to do our own investigation. We’re going to be transparent with the racing commission like we’ve always been. […] This horse was never treated with this. He’s a great horse. He doesn’t deserve this.”
Baffert denied that anyone in his team had administered the drug to the horse, who he said is still the Kentucky Derby winner until the completion of the inquiry.
“Yesterday, I got the biggest gut punch for something I didn’t do,” Baffert said. “We have to do a DNA sample. Something is not right. It’s not a disqualification until the split sample comes back. That’s a part of the process and we haven’t even gotten to that yet.”
On 12-1 odds, Medina Spirit was a shock winner of the 146th Kentucky Derby on May 1. The colt was sold as a yearling for only $1,000 and was a bargain for current owner Amr Zedan of Saudi Arabia at $35,000. The horse is still slated to run the 146th Preakness on May 15 in Baltimore, according to Baffert.
The Hall of Fame trainer was fined and suspended last year by the Arkansas Racing Commission after two of his horses tested positive for the painkiller lidocaine. Baffert won his appeal to the commission in the month leading up to this year’s Kentucky Derby, blaming the positive tests on a pain patch worn by his assistant, who saddled the horses.