Medina Spirit, the winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby, has failed its post-race drug test. The test result yielded that the horse was on more than double the amount of betamethasone it should have been taking.
Betamethasone is a therapeutic drug used to treat inflammation, joint pain and many other medical problems in horses. It is legal to use in training, but it is supposed to be administered no later than two weeks before a race.
When asked about the results, Medina Spirit’s trainer Bob Baffert denied any allegations towards him.
Despite this, Churchill Downs, the home track of the Kentucky Derby, has officially banned the Hall of Famer from entering any of his horses in the Kentucky Derby or any meets at their track.
Baffert intends to have his own investigation done to clear his name. He states that he will be fully transparent and honest during said investigation.
Although Baffert is proclaiming innocence, this is not the first time one of his horses has been disqualified in a race for a failed drug test. His horse Gamine was disqualified for its race last September for the same drug that Medina Spirit is being questioned for.
According to the Kentucky Derby, it is a rare occasion that a horse is disqualified for a failed drug test. It has only happened once in the history of the race in 1968 to Dancer’s Image.
If Medina Spirit is disqualified, those who bet on him will still get their share of the winnings. The trainer and staff of Medina Spirit, however, will not get the $1.86 million they earned with his win.
As of now, Medina Spirit is still the winner of the Kentucky Derby. If the investigation is upheld, the second-place winner, Mandaloun, will be named the official winner.