Kentucky Derby Winner Medina Spirit’s Failed Drug Test Confirmed
Medina Spirit is now one step closer to becoming the second Kentucky Derby winner in the 147-year history of the race to be disqualified.
The New York Times reported on Wednesday that 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit is facing disqualification after testing on a second postrace sample confirmed the presence of the steroid betamethasone.
The New York Times reported that an attorney who represents Medina Spirit’s owner, Amr Zedan, confirmed the presence of the drug betamethasone, a corticosteroid that is injected into joints to reduce pain and swelling.
The second test reportedly revealed 25 picograms of the steroid, after 21 were found initially.
Any amount of the steroid is prohibited and a violation.
Medina Spirit's trainer, Bob Baffert, said early last month that 21 picograms of corticosteroid, which can be used to help a horse's joints, showed up in Medina Spirit's first blood sample, before saying a day later that Otomax, an ointment used to treat the horse for a skin condition, was included in the substance.
Due to the confirmed positive test of Medina Spirit on Wednesday, Baffert, who trained six Kentucky Derby winners and who was inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame back in 2009, was suspended for two years by Churchill Downs Incorporated.
Medina Spirit finished third in the Preakness Stakes after passing a drug test to be allowed to race but is not entered in this Saturday Belmont Stakes.
If Medina Spirit is disqualified, as is now expected, Mandaloun, the horse that finished second in the Derby, would be the winner.
If that turns out to be the case, Medina Spirit's owner, Zedan, will forfeit the more than $1.8 million first-place check he collected from winning the Kentucky Derby.
Maximum Security was disqualified from winning the 2019 Kentucky Derby for dangerously impeding the paths of others, but the last time a horse was dethroned for a prohibited substance was Dancer's Image in 1968.