Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit has tested positive for a banned substance, trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday, and could ultimately be disqualified, according to multiple media reports Sunday.
Baffert told reporters at a Sunday news conference at Churchill Downs that post-race testing showed Medina Spirit tested positiive for 21 picograms of betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory steroid medication, WAVE television and the Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper reported.
Baffert denied treating the colt with the medication and said he will investigate the test result to determine how the substance got into the horse’s system.
“I got the biggest gut punch in racing for something I didn’t do,” Baffert said.
“It’s a complete injustice and I’m going to fight it tooth and nail,” Baffert said. “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 off a split sample before a horse can be disqualified, according to the reports.
Baffert set a record for the most wins by any trainer 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 career Derby title.
Baffert said he still plans to run Medina Spirit in the Preakness next Saturday at Pimlico in Baltimore in the second jewel of US flat racing’s Triple Crown.
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