The Medina Spirit Kentucky Derby win shall be void if the failed drug check is confirmed
Medina Spirit # 8, ridden by jockey John Velazquez (R), crosses the finish line and wins the 147th round of the Kentucky Derby ahead of Mandaloun # 7, ridden by Florent Geroux, and Hot Rod Charlie # 9, ridden by Flavien Prat, at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jamie Squire | Getty Images Sports | Getty Images
Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s win will be voided if the winning horse is confirmed to have failed a drug test, Churchill Downs said on Sunday.
Medina Spirit’s trainer, Bob Baffert, will be immediately banned from participating in horses on the Churchill Downs track, “given the gravity of the alleged crime,” said the company operating the derby in a statement.
“Failure to follow rules and medication protocols endangers the safety of horses and jockeys, the integrity of our sport, and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby and everyone involved. Churchill Downs will not tolerate this,” the press release said.
If the finding is confirmed, runner-up Mandaloun will be declared the race winner, Churchill Downs said.
Baffert denied any wrongdoing on Sunday morning. At a press conference, he revealed that in a post-race test, Medina Spirit had 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone, twice the legal threshold, in its system.
“I got the biggest punch in the race for something I didn’t do,” said Baffert.
Only two other horses in the 147-year history of the Kentucky Derby have been disqualified, according to the Associated Press.
“We understand that a post-race blood test from Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit indicated a violation of medication protocols for Commonwealth of Kentucky horses,” said Churchill Downs’ press release.
“The Medina Spirit compounds have the right to request a split sample test and we understand that they intend to do so,” the company said.
“We will wait for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commissions investigation to complete before taking any further action.”
With coverage from the Associated Press.