‘The Biggest Gut Punch In Racing’: Kentucky Derby Winner Tests Positive For Banned Drug

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned anti-inflammatory drug, putting into question the horse’s win at the Kentucky Derby last weekend.

“I got the biggest gut-punch in racing, for something I didn’t do,” trainer Bob Baffert said at a Sunday press conference after the positive test was announced, according to ESPN.

Churchill Downs, which hosts the Kentucky Derby, announced that Baffert would be suspended indefinitely following the positive test.

Baffert denied giving Medina Spirit the performance-enhancing drug betamethasone.

“I don’t feel embarrassed; I feel like I was wronged,” he continued.

Medina Spirit is the fifth Baffert-trained horse to fail a drug test in the past year, according to ESPN. Gamine, which Baffert also trains, tested positive for betamethasone following the Sept. 4, 2020 Kentucky Oaks race, also held at Churchill Downs. (RELATED: Racetrack Where Horses Keep Dying Bans Whips And Drugs)

Medina Spirit’s blood sample, taken after it won the Derby on May 1, will be retested.

“If the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and [second-place finisher] Mandaloun will be declared the winner,” Churchill Downs said in a statement.

Baffert promised to appeal the suspension.

“We’re going to show them everything. One thing about it in California, everything is documented every day what the horse gets,” the Hall of Fame trainer continued.

“There’s problems in racing, but it’s not Bob Baffert,” he added.

Medina Spirit would be the third horse to be disqualified from a Kentucky Derby win, joining Maximum Security in 2019 and Dancer’s Image in 1968.