Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s split sample confirms failed drug test


Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit moved one step closer to disqualification when the results of a second test came back positive for a banned medication.

Craig Robertson, attorney for trainer Bob Baffert, confirmed that “the Medina Spirit split sample confirmed the finding of betamethasone at 25 picograms.”


The original sample found 21 picograms in the horse’s system. A picogram is a trillionth of a gram. There is no allowable limit for the medication on race day in Kentucky. The split sample testing was done by the Maddy Lab at UC Davis.

The next step will be for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to hold a hearing on the case. If it confirms a medication violation, Medina Spirit would be disqualified and $1.8 million in purse money would be forfeited.


Baffert would also face penalties. Guidelines call for a suspension of 10 to 30 days and a fine of $1,500 to $2,500. It would be Baffert’s second Class C violation in Kentucky within a year. The filly Gamine tested positive for betamethasone after running in the Kentucky Oaks in September.

“There is other testing being conducted, including DNA testing,” Robertson said. “We expect this additional testing to confirm that the presence of the betamethasone was from the topical ointment, Otomax, and not an injection.”


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