Medina Spirit was stripped of her victory in the Kentucky Derby 2021 after a formal hearing on a positive drug test led by coach Bob Baffert, Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. announced on Monday.
Medina Spirit was the first to cross the finish line last May, but shortly thereafter tested positive for betamethasone, a legal steroid that is banned two weeks before the race. The horse died of a heart attack during training December in Santa Anita Park.
Medina Spirit is now the second horse in the 146-year history of the Kentucky Derby to be disqualified for a banned substance. Dancer’s Image was DQ’d in 1968 and advanced to Victory Forward Pass. Maximum Security was disqualified in 2019 for interference.
Mandaloun, a horse that ended up half the length behind, has now been declared the winner of the 2021 Triple Crown. Horse owners get a $ 1.8 million wallet rather than Baffert. There will be no refunds or payouts for bettors.
Baffert is suspended for 90 days from March 8 to June 5 as part of a commission decision and faces a $ 7,500 fine. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes are in May and the Belmont Stakes on June 11. Baffert will not be allowed access to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission during the suspension. Horses owned or trained by Bafford will be denied “until handed over to persons acceptable to stewards.”
Baffert’s lawyers said in a statement that they planned to appeal.
“This decision represents a terrible departure from the facts and the law, but numerous public statements by KHRC officials over the past few months have made it clear that the fate of Bob Baffert was decided before we even sat before the three stewards. , one of which is directly employed by Churchill Downs as Race Director at Turfway Park. We will appeal and win when facts and rules are presented to independent, neutral decision-makers. “
Medina Spirit would win with or without a “detected trace amount of betamethasone,” which was decided to have no effect on the horses, the lawyers said.
Baffert admits the use of ointment
Baffert, 69, initially denied the drug in the days after the race, but eventually admitted that he applied betamethasone-containing ointment to the horse daily. That is, the day before the race.
The second test in June confirmed the drug in the Medina Spirit system. Baffert’s lawyers argued that the rule applied only to injections “intra-articularly” and not to ointments. Further tests showed a secondary substance, which was found only in the ointment, which he said gave Medina Spirit. The lawyers reiterated in Monday’s statement that this was an “indisputable fact found at the hearing” and is admissible according to the rules.
Baffert is the Hall of Fame coach and was already banned from racing on the track and another owned by Churchill Downs for two years. The organization of the racetrack cited five positive tests a year as a reason. He had 29 positive tests in horses before the news of Medina Spirit appeared.
It was Baffert’s seventh victory in the Kentucky Derby. This number is now dropping to six. The New York Racing Association held a hearing in late January to ban him from participating in the tracks as well.