Coach Bob Baffert, who gained a record-setting seventh Kentucky Derby with Medina Spirit this month, on Sunday mentioned the darkish bay colt had failed a drug take a look at.
Baffert mentioned a post-race pattern offered by Medina Spirit had examined optimistic for 21 picograms of the anti-inflammatory drug betamethasone, over the authorized restrict in Kentucky racing.
Medina Spirit, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, had secured a half-length victory over Mandaloun within the 19-horse Kentucky Derby on Could 1. read more
Baffert’s camp had been knowledgeable of the information by Kentucky officers on Saturday, however the 68-year-old denied giving the horse unlawful substances and mentioned the optimistic take a look at was “the most important intestine punch in racing.”
“I used to be completely shocked once I heard this information,” Baffert instructed a information convention. “I am nonetheless making an attempt to soak up it. I’m probably the most scrutinised coach. The very last thing I need to do is one thing that might jeopardize the best sport,” he mentioned.
“This should not have occurred. There’s an issue someplace. It did not come from us. It is such an injustice to the horse. I do not really feel embarrassed, I really feel like I used to be wronged.”
A pattern collected concurrently the one which got here again optimistic will now be examined to substantiate the outcome.
Churchill Downs mentioned it had suspended Baffert from coming into horses at its famed racetrack and mentioned that if the optimistic take a look at is upheld, Medina Spirit’s outcomes shall be invalidated and Mandaloun shall be declared the Kentucky Derby winner.
“Failure to adjust to the principles and drugs protocols jeopardizes the protection of the horses and jockeys, the integrity of our sport and the fame of the Kentucky Derby and all who take part. Churchill Downs is not going to tolerate it,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.
“We are going to await the conclusion of the Kentucky Horse Racing Fee’s investigation earlier than taking additional steps.”
Final month, Baffert efficiently appealed towards a 15-day suspension given to him by the Arkansas Racing Fee after two of his horses had examined optimistic for a banned substance.
Baffert mentioned Medina Spirit had not but been formally disqualified from the Derby and that he would launch his personal investigation.
“I’ll combat it,” he added. “There are issues in racing, nevertheless it’s not Bob Baffert. I do not consider in conspiracy theories, however why is it occurring to me?”
In 2015, Baffert-trained American Pharoah turned the primary horse since 1978 to win U.S. thoroughbred racing’s coveted Triple Crown. Baffert celebrated one other Triple Crown in 2018 with Justify.
Horse racing in america has come beneath hearth lately for the game’s widespread use of medication, which has contributed to the high-profile deaths of horses at tracks across the nation.
Animal rights group PETA mentioned regulators ought to completely ban Baffert, whose horses have failed 5 drug assessments in slightly greater than a yr.
“The time has lengthy handed for regulators to cease defending Bob Baffert with minimal fines and at last kick him out of racing,” mentioned PETA senior vice chairman Kathy Guillermo.
Scrutiny of the game led to the passage of the federal Horseracing Integrity and Security Act final yr, which seeks to deal with inconsistencies in drug testing and create a uniform nationwide normal of guidelines and laws within the sport.
The regulation goes into impact in July of subsequent yr.
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