Medina Spirit Facing Disqualification After Second Positive Test
More fallout from the Kentucky Derby emerges, as winner Medina Spirit is facing disqualification after testing on a second post-race sample confirmed the presence of the steroid betamethasone, lawyers who represent the horse’s owner and trainer Bob Baffert said. One of the attorneys, Clark Brewster, who represents Medina Spirit’s owner, told The New York Times that a laboratory at UC Davis confirmed the presence of betamethasone in the second sample. Attorney Craig Robertson, who represents Baffert, said the second test showed 25 picograms of the steroid, after 21 were found initially.
Even a trace amount of betamethasone is prohibited on race day in Kentucky and is considered a violation. However, Brewster pushed back against the notion that there was any cheating. “I think that will shed the light most prominently on the issue here for us,” he said. “The whole basis for listing betamethasone is because it’s injected into a joint and they want you not to inject the joints too close to the race, so the whole substantive basis is out the window if it’s a salve, and it can be proven scientifically and empirically to be the salve.” He also sent The New York Times a text message that the UC Davis lab didn’t test for other compounds, “which could prove the trace positive came from an inadvertent and materially inconsequential contamination sourced from a topical ointment used to treat Medina Spirit for a skin lesion on his hip.”
Brewster proceeded to tell The New York Times that the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has agreed to send Medina Spirit’s original blood and urine samples to an independent laboratory to test for the presence of other compounds. So what does this mean for the results of the Kentucky Derby? Well, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. Sherelle Roberts-Pierre said the commission “values fairness and transparency and will provide information to the media and public at the close of an investigation.” The horse Madaloun appears to be the true winner of the race.
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