Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stewards ruled on February 21st that Medina Spirit has been disqualified from his 2021 Kentucky Derby win. The horse’s trainer, Bob Baffert, has been suspended for 90 days and issued a $7,500 fine.
The Commission released a statement following receipt of a notification from their official testing lab, Industrial Laboratories and confirmed by the University of California, Davis lab, that Medina Spirit’s blood contained betamethasone after the race. The notice reads in part:
“After a formal hearing before the board of stewards, Robert A. Baffert is hereby suspended 90 days, March 8, 2022 through June 5, 2022 (inclusive) and fined seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500). Medina Spirit is disqualified and all purse money forfeited. Pari-mutuel wagering is not affected by this ruling.
“During his suspension, Mr. Baffert is denied the privileges of all facilities under the jurisdiction of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Entry of all horses owned or trained by Mr. Baffert is denied pending transfer to persons acceptable to the stewards.”
Second-place Kentucky Derby finisher Mandaloun, owned and bred by Juddmonte Farms, trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, has been declared the official winner. On Feb 22nd, Churchill Downs took down the paddock sign honoring Medina Spirit and replaced it with a new sign for Mandaloun:
Medina Spirit died following a workout on Dec. 6 at Santa Anita Park; no definitive cause of death was discovered during the necropsy/postmortem examination.
Baffert has 30 days to pay the fine. It is not known at this point if he will appeal the stewards’ ruling.