Tim O’DonnellSun, May 9, 2021, 12:35 PM·1 min read
What a difference a week makes.
Last Saturday, trainer Bob Baffert was celebrating his record-breaking seventh Kentucky Derby victory. Flash forward to Sunday, and he’s been suspended from entering horses at Churchill Downs, which announced Sunday that Baffert’s 2021 Derby-winning trainee, Medina Spirit, tested positive for the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone. The steroid isn’t completely banned in Kentucky horse racing, but Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample reportedly was found to have double the legal threshold, which is why Baffert received the punishment.
It appears Medina Spirit will be tested again, so the win is still valid, but if the findings are upheld the horse and Baffert will be stripped of their victory, and Mandaloun, the runner-up, will be crowned.
Baffert has denied involvement and said he’s not sure how Medina Spirit could have tested positive. “This shouldn’t have happened,” he said. “There’s a problem somewhere. It didn’t come from us.”
It’s not the first time one of Baffert’s horses has registered a positive drug test, however. The New York Times reported that his horses have failed at least 29 tests in his 40-decade career, including two last year. Read more at The Courier-Journal and The Associated Press.