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#pounditWednesday, June 23, 2021

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for illegal drug

Bob Baffert

The horse that won the Kentucky Derby last Saturday has tested positive for an illegal substance.

Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert revealed on Sunday morning that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has informed assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes that the horse tested positive for betamethasone. All horses are tested after the Kentucky Derby, and the results take a week to come back.

The corticosteroid is the same one another Baffert horse, Gamine, tested positive for after winning the Kentucky Oaks last year. Other Baffert horses have also had issues with failed drug tests. Justify reportedly failed a drug test before winning the Triple Crown in 2018, but the inquiry was quietly dropped under the guise that the horse could have eaten contaminated food. Two other Baffert horses tested positive for lidocaine last year and Baffert complained about confidentiality.

Baffert called Medina Spirit’s failed test “the biggest gut punch in racing” and said the horse was not given any drug.

“I don’t know what’s going on in racing right now, but there’s something right now,” Baffert said, via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic. “It just seems odd, why am I the only trainer with these positives?”

That is a question fans and the Racing Commission would probably prefer that Baffert answer, though he insists he has no idea.

Baffert seemed to imply that someone might be tampering with his horses. He has won seven Kentucky Derby races, which is more than any other trainer. He even had a funny moment with Bill Belichick during the latest win, but the mood surrounding Baffert’s success has once again taken a dark turn.

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