Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a banned substance, coach Bob Baffert said on Sunday, and could ultimately be disqualified, multiple media reported on Sunday.
Baffert told reporters at a Sunday press conference in Churchill Downs that post-race testing showed Medina Spirit had tested positive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid, WAVE TV and the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper.
Baffert denied treating the foal with the drug and said he would investigate the test result to determine how the substance entered the horse’s system.
“I got the biggest punch in the race for something I didn’t do,” said Baffert.
“It is a total injustice and I will fight it tooth and nail,” said Baffert. “I owe it to the horse, I owe it to the owner and I owe it to our industry. Our industry needs to step up and we need to do a better job in racing. “
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission regulations require a second positive test result on a split sample before a horse can be disqualified, according to reports.
Baffert set a record for the most wins by any coach in the 147-year Kentucky Derby history on May 1 when 12-1 Medina Spirit won at Churchill Downs in Louisville to give Baffert his seventh title in career in the Derby.
Baffert said he still plans to lead Medina Spirit in the Preakness next Saturday at Pimlico in Baltimore in the second crown jewel of American flat racing.
© 2021 AFP