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Posted 2022-02-21 18:36:49  
Medina Spirit Disqualified from Kentucky Derby

In a move seen by many as an inevitability, the late Medina Spirit was disqualified by the state’s stewards from his position as winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby.


The ruling was posted Monday after a stewards hearing via Zoom last Monday. Trainer Bob Baffert was suspended from racing in Kentucky for 90 days, to begin March 8 and was fined $7,500.

Medina Spirit led the entire way in the May 1 race, crossing the wire first to give Baffert what was a record seventh Kentucky Derby win. But eight days after the race, Baffert announced that the Protonico colt had tested positive for betamethasone, an anti-inflammatory that is banned on race day in Kentucky.


After initially denying any use of betamethasone, Baffert later admitted to the use of Otomax, a cream he said was used to treat a skin condition. His attorney, Craig Robertson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The positive test and its aftermath led to Baffert being suspended from all Churchill Downs Inc. tracks for two years and rendered his horses unable to earn Kentucky Derby or Oaks points or compete in either race. If the ruling is upheld, Mandaloun would become the official winner of the 2021 Derby, giving trainer Brad Cox his first win in the race.


The process of disqualifying Medina Spirit was held up because Baffert sued the KHRC to force further testing of the colt’s split urine sample in an attempt to prove the failed drug test was caused by Otomax. Even though Baffert and his attorneys pointed out that the results came back in their favor, Medina Spirit still was disqualified Monday.

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