Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, a corticosteroid, horse trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday morning.
Medina Spirit has yet to be disqualified, Baffert said, pending another test. If this test is positive, Medina Spirit would become the second Derby winner to be disqualified. Baffert was credited with a record 7th Derby victory for Medina Spirit training.
In 2019, Maximum Security won the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4 lengths, but was subsequently ranked 17th for interference with another horse.
Baffert said he still plans to run Medina Spirit in next Saturday’s Preakness, the second leg of the triple crown. Triple Crown races, which include the Belmont Stakes, Preakness and Kentucky Derby, have returned to their usual slots in the spring and early summer this year after a pandemic-related stint in fall 2020.
Medina Spirit has been charged with having 21 picograms of the illegal substance in a post-race drug test. Baffert called the result “shocking” because he claims the horse “has never been treated with betamethasone”.
The drug is used in horse racing to control pain and inflammation. It also builds red blood cells, which are important for stamina and oxygen uptake.