Medina Spirit can race in Preakness despite failing drug test after Derby
(NBC) Medina Spirit has been cleared to race in the Preakness Saturday despite testing positive for a steroid after winning the Kentucky Derby.
Trainer Bob Baffert revealed Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone, which put his Derby win in question. Shortly after the announcement, officials at Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby is held, said Baffert would be suspended indefinitely from the track.
After the 3-year-old finished second at the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, Medina Spirit “developed dermatitis on his hind end” before a veterinarian “recommended the use of an anti-fungal ointment called Otomax,” Baffert said in a statement Tuesday.
Baffert said one of the substances in Otomax is betamethasone.
“While we do not know definitively that this was the source of the alleged 21 picograms found in Medina Spirit’s post-race blood sample, and our investigation is continuing, I have been told by equine pharmacology experts that this could explain the test results. As such, I wanted to be forthright about this fact as soon as I learned of this information,” Baffert said.
Medina Spirit will only be allowed to race if he passes rigorous testing and monitoring by the Maryland Racing Commission.
The Preakness airs only on NBC2 — coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and race time is 6:50 p.m.
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