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#pounditThursday, June 24, 2021

Medina Spirit trainer Bob Baffert says he is victim of ‘cancel culture’

Bob Baffert

Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is in danger of being disqualified over a failed drug test, and the horse’s trainer Bob Baffert continues to deny any wrongdoing.

Baffert addressed the doping allegation during an appearance on FOX News. He said Medina Spirit was never given the corticosteroid betamethasone, which was found in the horse’s system after the Kentucky Derby.

“People in the public don’t understand. People in my world understand this is all BS,” Baffert said. “Bob Baffert’s not stupid. That’s not a drug that I would use on a horse. We don’t use that drug. The horse never had it in him. We have the documentation. We’re going to show everything.”

Baffert said he hasn’t been told anything about whether Medina Spirit will be allowed to compete in the 2021 Preakness Stakes, which will be held in Maryland on Saturday. He mentioned how Churchill Downs has suspended him indefinitely from entering his horses in any races there and attributed that to “cancel culture.”

“Churchill Downs came out with that statement that was pretty harsh. With all the noise going out, we live in a different world now,” Baffert said. “This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of thing, so they’re reviewing it.”

Medina Spirit was expected to contend for the Triple Crown, but it’s unclear if that will be an option. Appeals with failed drug tests can sometimes take weeks to settle.

Baffert has a reputation for drug issues with his horses. He has implied he believes someone could be contaminating what the horses eat.

The corticosteroid found in Medina Spirit 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.

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