Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit stops working 2nd drug test

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Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit fails second drug test

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John Velazquez guides Medina Spirit to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

Jamie Rhodes | U.S.A. TODAY Sports | Reuters

The 2nd test of blood from Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit verified the existence of the prohibited steroid betamethasone, an attorney for the horse’s owner informed CNBC on Wednesday.

The 2nd favorable test dramatically increases the opportunity that Medina Spirit’s triumph on May 1 will be reversed by Kentucky racing authorities, which Mandaloun, which ran 2nd that day, will be stated the winner.

Clark Brewster, the lawyer for the horse’s owner Amr Zedan, stated that authorities are permitting the Medina Spirit group to have another laboratory examine a 3rd sample from the horse.

That test, Brewster stated, might figure out whether there are chemicals that would support the claim by fitness instructor Bob Baffert that the betamethasone might have originated from an antifungal lotion used to the horse, and not an injection.

If the 3rd test considers that outcome, Brewster might utilize it to refute Medina Spirit being disqualified from the Derby, which is the very first gem in pedigreed racing’s Triple Crown.

The lawyer recommended he likewise may challenge the precision and procedure of the very first main test, and the 2nd analysis of blood, referred to as a split sample.

“I have not seen the paperwork to conclude that even the primary or split tests were properly admitted,” Brewster stated.

The 2nd stopped working test was initially reported Wednesday by The New York Times.

Brewster stated that if a horse stops working a very first drug test, a fitness instructor typically has the alternative of “sending the B-sample” for analysis at a picked laboratory for a 2nd, confirmatory test.

For Medina Spirit’s B-sample, Brewster stated, the horse’s group “requested both the blood and urine to be sent to” such a laboratory.

Trainer Bob Baffert of Medina Spirit, raises the prize after winning the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit, his seventh profession Kentucky Derby win, at Churchill Downs on May 01, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

The lawyer stated that if both compounds were checked, it might find the existence of chemical elements that would show whether betamethasone originated from lotion.

“But they [racing officials] declined to send out” the urine, Brewster stated. “They only sent the blood.”

The attorney stated that on Monday or Tuesday, Medina Spirit’s group was notified the laboratory “found betamethasone” in the split sample.

Brewster stated the laboratory did not launch the level of that steroid discovered in the blood, “but they said it’s there.”

“They estimated it was 25 picograms,” he stated.

Baffert at a May 9 press conference initially exposed that Medina Spirit had actually checked favorable for the steroid, stating the very first sample was discovered to have 21 picograms of betamethasone.

While that drug can be lawfully utilized as a healing in Kentucky on a horse, any trace of it on race day is premises for disqualification if a 2nd test verifies it remained in the blood on that day.

A picogram is a trillionth of a gram, a point Brewster made a number of times throughout a phone interview on Wednesday.

The attorney stated screening laboratories over the last few years have actually ended up being able to find minute levels of pharmaceutical compounds, a few of which can go into a horse’s or human’s system by incidental contact, rather than deliberate administration.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will have the last word over whether to void Medina Spirit’s Derby win.

“Hopefully they will make a reasonable judgment,” Brewster stated.

“I think there will be unanimity on the subject that this is an infinitesimal amount that could not have affected the race,” the attorney stated.

Baffert, who up until now this year has actually seen 5 of his horses stop working drug tests, was suspended forever from Churchill Downs as an outcome of Medina Spirit’s very first favorable test.

Medina Spirit was later on enabled to race May 15 in the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown, under an arrangement that it and another Baffert-trained horse, Concert Tour, send to “rigorous testing and monitoring,” the Maryland Jockey Club stated.

Medina Spirit ended up third in the Preakness.

Medina Spirit will not run in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday in Long Island, New York, since Baffert was briefly suspended from getting in horses because race, the 3rd gem of the Triple Crown, or other significant New York tracks last month as an outcome of the favorable drug test from the Derby.

Baffert has actually trained 2 Triple Crown winners. He has actually trained 7 Kentucky Derby winners, counting Medina Spirit.

Brewster on Wednesday later on provided an official declaration on the most current drug test.

“In response to the inquiries, this will acknowledge that the Medina Spirit split sample confirmed the finding of betamethasone at 25 picograms,” Brewster stated.

“There is other testing that is being conducted, including DNA testing,” the lawyer stated.

“We expect this additional testing to confirm that the presence of the betamethasone was from the topical ointment, Otomax, and not an injection,” Brewster stated.

“At the end of the day, we anticipate this case to be about the treatment of Medina Spirit’s skin rash with Otomax. ¬†We will have nothing further to say until the additional testing is complete.”

Kristin Voskuhl, a spokesperson for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, stated in a declaration that the commission “does not provide comment or updates on the status of ongoing investigations.”

“The KHRC values fairness and transparency, and will provide information to the media and public at the close of an investigation,” Voskuhl stated.

Disclosure: CNBC moms and dad NBCUniversal owns NBC and NBC Sports, which relayed the Triple Crown races.

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