Medina Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, was the big winner of the Kentucky Derby in May this year. Following the hype of the win, a urine sample of the colt tested positive for the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone. Betamethasone is a legal drug that is not allowed during races. Following the positive test, Medina Spirit’s win was hanging by a thread.
However, the situation has changed, following a Friday statement released by Baffert’s lawyer, Craig Robertson. He revealed that after secondary testing, it was discovered that Medina Spirit wasn’t injected with betamethasone.
Bob Baffert’s Attorney Reveals Results from New Test
Following the initial positive result for betamethasone, Baffert filed a lawsuit against the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, asking for more tests of the split urine sample taken from Medina Spirit after winning the race. After a judge gave the green light, Baffert picked a laboratory in New York to complete the additional tests. In fact, the laboratory in question is headed by Dr. George Maylin, who does testing for New York’s Equine Drug Testing Program (EDTP).
“In other words, it has now been scientifically proven that what Bob Baffert said from the beginning was true.”Craig Robertson
Consequently, Robertson revealed that it is now scientifically proven that Medina Spirit was never injected with betamethasone. Instead, the additional tests prove that the anti-inflammatory drug entered the colt’s organism after it was treated for a skin condition.
“Medina Spirit was never injected with betamethasone and the findings following the Kentucky Derby were solely the result of the horse being treated for a skin condition by way of a topical ointment.”Craig Robertson
Robertson explained that if injected, betamethasone shows a trace of betamethasone acetate. However, the additional tests found no trace of betamethasone acetate. Instead, the lab testing found betamethasone valerate, which was in the topical ointment used to treat the horse’s skin.
Unclear If Troubles for Baffert Will Continue
According to Robertson, the secondary lab tests should “definitively resolve the matter in Kentucky and Medina Spirit.” In light of this, he added that the colt should remain the official winner of the Kentucky Derby this year. Robertson acknowledged that ever since the initial test in May, Baffert “has been the subject of an unfair rush to judgment.”
Although the new information reveals that Medina Spirit wasn’t injected with the forbidden substance, it remains unclear what the future holds for Baffert. After the initial test of the colt, Churchill Downs decided to suspend the trainer for 2 years. Moreover, they imposed a ban on horses trained by Baffert. Churchill Downs is yet to release a statement on the topic.