What Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s second constructive drug check means for Bob Baffert

Whereas it stays doable that Medina Spirit could now not be the winner of the Kentucky Derby, one factor has been made official: Bob Baffert has been suspended for 2 years. 

On Wednesday, Churchill Downs Integrated introduced that it was suspending Baffert and “any coach straight or not directly employed by Bob Baffert Racing Stables from coming into horses in races or making use of for stall occupancy in any respect CDI-owned racetracks.”

Medina Spirit had examined constructive for a banned substance shortly after the Derby befell, however the resolution was appealed. In consequence, the colt’s pattern was re-tested in a lab chosen by Baffert. As soon as once more, it was constructive for betamethasone, a steroid that’s used to scale back irritation.

Within the press launch from Churchill Downs Integrated, CEO Invoice Carstanjen mentioned that it advocates for strict treatment rules to ensure races are finished pretty, and that “reckless practices and substance violations that jeopardize” the horse’s or jockey’s security or “compromise the integrity of our sport will not be acceptable.”

“As an organization we should take measures to show that they won’t be tolerated,” Carstanjen mentioned within the assertion. “Mr. Baffert’s file of testing failures threatens public confidence in thoroughbred racing and the popularity of the Kentucky Derby. Given these repeated failures over the past 12 months, together with the more and more extraordinary explanations, we firmly imagine that asserting our rights to impose these measures is our obligation and accountability.”

The discharge mentioned that the Kentucky Horse Racing Fee has the choice on whether or not to disqualify Medina Spirit, and that it’s seeking to full its investigation on whether or not to make this resolution. 

Why this issues: Medina Spirit now faces disqualification from the Kentucky Derby because of this constructive check.

  • If Baffert’s horse is disqualified, Mandaloun, the preliminary runner-up within the race, can be declared the winner.
  • The final time {that a} successful horse was disqualified from the Derby due to a constructive drug check was Dancer’s Picture in 1968.
  • It is the second time previously three years that the Derby’s successful horse has been disqualified. Most Safety was disqualified in 2019 for dangerously impeding the trail of different horses, main Nation Home to the win as a longshot. 

MORE: Full draw, odds, submit positions for the Belmont Stakes

What they’re saying: Clark Brewster, a lawyer who represents Medina Spirit’s proprietor, hopes that the intent of the potential contamination, which Baffert beforehand mentioned got here from an anti-fungal cream utilized to the horse, is taken into account when discussing potential punishment for the horse.

  • “If it was inadvertent contamination, that must be taken under consideration. We’re hopeful that affordable minds and good-intentioned regulators can see what it’s, and what it’s not, and never have a draconian response.” 
  • “I am not a conspiracy (theorist) — I do know all people’s not out to get me. However there’s positively one thing mistaken. Why is it occurring, you already know, to me?” Baffert mentioned. “There’s issues in racing, nevertheless it’s not Bob Baffert.”

What comes subsequent: An official ruling on Medina Spirit’s standing because it pertains to the 2021 Kentucky Derby must be incoming quickly.

  • Baffert has been suspended for 2 years from racing in any occasion hosted by Churchill Downs. As well as, the CDI may also prolong his suspension if there are any extra violations. 

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