Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Returns A Positive Drug Test

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It was just over a week ago that Medina Spirit took home the victory at the Kentucky Derby, but now there are question marks about the legitimacy of the victory.

Eric Crawford, Sports journalist for WDRB, reports that the horse has returned a positive drug test.

“It is a complete injustice. I’m going to fight it tooth and nail. … Why is it happening to me?” trainer Bob Baffert said early Sunday.

“I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something I didn’t do.”

The 68-year-old trainer said Sunday that Medina Spirit had tested positive for 21 picograms of the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone, above Kentucky racing’s threshold of ten picograms per milliliter.

“It’s such an injustice to the horse. I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I was robbed,” Baffert said.

Churchill Downs has suspended Baffert from having entries for races until they wrap up a complete investigation, and they put out a statement Sunday regarding how the race will be decided, should they find that Medina Spirit did indeed break the rules.

“If the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared winner,” it said in a statement.

Written by Matt Loede

Matt has been a part of the Cleveland Sports landscape working in the media since 1994 when he graduated from broadcasting school. His coverage beats include the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. He's written three books, and won the "2020 AP Sports Stringer Lifetime Service Award."


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    • Hey DJJ…just googled it…only happened once where a DQ for drugs days later after winner declared, etc, etc. From…

      The Kentucky Derby’s winning horse has only lost its title once before in history—and it wasn’t a case of officials immediately disqualifying a horse that finished first, as with Maximum Security in the 2019 race. In this case, a horse named Dancer’s Image held the proverbial crown for nearly three days before the Churchill Downs disqualified him for drugs in 1968.
      Ironically, the specific drug in the stallion’s system is something most horses use today in the famous race.

      Not gonna post the rest of the story, but it’s really pretty interesting; worth reading.
      Cheers !!!

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