Medina Spirit took home the victory at the Kentucky Derby on May 1, but now there are question marks about the legitimacy of the victory.
Medina Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, went off at 12-1 with John Velasquez up. He led wire-to-wire to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby in a time of 2:01.02 before an announced crowd of 51,838.
But Medina Spirit returned a positive drug test, and Baffert now says his horse is a victim of cancel culture.
“We live in a different world now,” Baffert said while appearing on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom With Bell Hemmer & Dana Perino, per The Courier Journal. “This America is different. It was like a cancel culture kind of a thing.”
In a statement released Sunday, Churchill Downs announced the immediate suspension of Baffert and said runner-up Mandaloun would be declared the winner of the Kentucky Derby if a second post-race test comes back positive.
Per Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulations, a second positive test — called a “split sample” — is required before a horse can be disqualified.
Baffert said he didn’t know when the result of the split sample will be available. Marc Guilfoil, executive director of the KHRC, said the positive test result was received Friday, the article states.
For now, Medina Spirit’s win over Mandaloun in the Derby stands. But what happens if the second test comes back positive and Medina Spirit is no longer the winner?
Yahoo Sports reports that all prize money would then be taken from Medina Spirit’s team and awarded to Mandaloun’s team, but the small-dollar bets laid down on Medina Spirit and others are done and gone. There will be no refunds and no awards to anyone still holding a Mandaloun ticket.
“All bets will stand as settled,” said John Ewing, data analyst for BetMGM, per Yahoo Sports. “The race result has already been determined official and paid. Disqualifications from positive drug tests will not change the results.”