His horse’s Kentucky Derby win is in jeopardy, but that’s just part of the problem Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is dealing with on Sunday.
Churchill Downs has suspended him as well after Medina Spirit failed a post-race drug test casting doubt on its victory.
Baffert told reporters he would be transparent with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission as it investigates the matter and denied knowledge of any wrongdoing. The horse tested positive for the steroid betamethasone that is used to treat pain and inflammation. It was found to have 21 picograms of betamethasone in its system, more than double what is allowed.
“To be clear, if the findings are upheld, Medina Spirit’s results in the Kentucky Derby will be invalidated and Mandaloun will be declared the winner,” Churchill Downs officials said in a statement.
“Churchill Downs will not tolerate it. Given the seriousness of the alleged offense, Churchill Downs will immediately suspend Bob Baffert, the trainer of Medina Spirit, from entering any horses at Churchill Downs Racetrack.”
For now, Medina Spirit will still run in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, unless officials at Pimlico or Maryland’s racing commission prevent it from doing so. It is the fifth Baffert horse to have failed a drug test in over a year.
“I got the biggest gut-punch in racing for something that I didn’t do,” Baffert said, referring to the failed test. “And it’s disturbing. It’s an injustice to the horse. … I don’t know what’s going on in racing right now, but there’s something not right. I don’t feel embarrassed. I feel like I was wronged. We’re going to do our own investigation. We’re going to be transparent with the racing commission, like we’ve always been.
“He’s a great horse. He doesn’t deserve this. He ran a gallant race.”
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