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Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s post-race failed drug test was confirmed by a laboratory at the University of California, Davis, the horse’s owner’s lawyer told The New York Times.
Medina Spirit is now set to become the second winner in the Kentucky Derby’s history to be disqualified for a failed drug test. If disqualified, the Kentucky Derby’s runner-up, Mandaloun, will be declared champion.
The only other horse to be disqualified for a failed drug test is Dancer’s Image, whose 1968 victory was stripped after a drug test found a banned anti-inflammatory in the horse’s system.
Clark Brewster, the lawyer representing Medina Spirit owner Amr Zedan, told The Times that the UC-Davis lab confirmed the presence of a prohibited level of betamethasone, a corticosteroid used to reduce pain and swelling in joints, in Medina Spirit after the May race.
If disqualified, Zedan will be forced to refund his $1.86 million winner’s payout.
Medina Spirit’s trainer, Bob Baffert, initially denied his horse had tested positive, claiming the horse was a victim of “cancel culture.” But he later admitted the test had been positive and was suspended by the New York Racing Association.
Baffert has trained some of the winningest horses in racing history. He’s trained seven Kentucky Derby winners in his career, including Triple Crown champions American Pharaoh and Justify.
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