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Baffert Confirms: Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Tests Positive for Betamethasone
The finish line of the 2021 Kentucky Derby (Credit: Coady Photography)

Baffert Confirms: Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit Tests Positive for Betamethasone

LOUISVILLE, KY – At an impromptu press conference held outside his barn at Churchill Downs Sunday morning, 7-time* Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer Bob Baffert confirmed that Medina Spirit, who captured last Saturday’s 147th running of the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports, tested positive for an overage of betamethasone, a corticosteroid used in horses to control pain and inflammation.

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After opening the press conference describing Medina Spirit and stablemate Concert Tour‘s status heading into this Saturday’s Preakness Stakes (G1), Baffert explained that Medina Spirit’s post-race sample contained 21 picograms of betamethasone. According to Baffert, the legal limit permitted in a post-race sample is 10 picograms.

Another Baffert runner, Gamine, twice tested positive for medication overages during a 2020 campaign that ended with her winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1). Gamine did not test positive at the Breeders’ Cup.

Baffert said that he doesn’t “know how it got in his system” and that he and his legal team are going to “investigate it thoroughly.” A split sample will be tested. If the split sample confirms the original, this would mark Baffert’s fifth medication violation since May 2020.

“Why is it happening to me?” Baffert opined regarding the recurring overages. “I was totally shocked when I heard this news. … The last thing I want to do is jeopardize the greatest two minutes in sports.”

The following is a collection of quotes from Baffert, who steadfastly denied any responsibility or understanding how Medina Spirit could test positive for a drug that Baffert said has never been given:

“Injustice to the horse.”

“I feel like I was wronged.”

“I do not feel safe to train.”

“How do I move forward from this?”

“Our industry needs to step up and do a better job.”

“We know we didn’t do it.”

“I don’t know how it got in his system.”

“I’m worried about our sport.”

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Full video coverage courtesy of Paulick Report can be viewed here:

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